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August 1, 2007

Blogosphere shout-outs

Upon my return from a very interesting panel on blogs at the 16th Annual Meeting of the Conference of Court Public Information Officers, I have three blog-tastic comments to make:

1.  Happy belated birthday to Corrections Sentencing, which has a bunch of great new posts including this post with notable praise for the Missouri Sentencing Commission.

2.  Curses to any evil or misguided bloggers who harass or unduly burden court public information officiers and thereby give us not-so-evil or misguided bloggers a bad name.  Upon hearing various war stories about how some bloggers have bothered CPIOs, I now better understand why not all blogs and bloggers are beloved.

3.  Kudos to Dan Solove at Concurring Opinions for continuing to update his "Law Professor Blogger Census" with a new 2007 Version.  I also was intrigued by his follow-up post here about "Deadwood Bloggers."

August 1, 2007 at 05:00 PM | Permalink


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I'd be interested in hearing some of these alleged "war stories about how some bloggers have bothered CPIOs." Indeed, I can hardly imagine a more lightweight, do-nothing PR gig than to be PIO for any court but the Supremes. How bothersome can us bloggers really be? And if they are "war" stories, does that mean we bloggers are viewed as the enemy? :)

Posted by: Gritsforbreakfast | Aug 1, 2007 5:50:10 PM

DAB... you might think about offering a brief blog-tutorial on PACER as a public service to ease the difficulties faced by the PIOs.

Gritsforbreakfast... you seem to have never actually worked in a job involving extensive public interaction. It may or may not involve the amount of work, but the type of abuse heaped upon them when a less polite blogger might be unreasonable in their demands. I imagine they get a number of calls from people who understand very little about the specifics of the law, and want lots of stuff explained, as well as tons of copies scanned in and e-mailed. The latter, the PIO may well be unequipped, technologically, to do. I can imagine a ton of potential horror stories.

Posted by: PatHMV | Aug 1, 2007 7:59:26 PM

Pat, Considering that Grits is a lobbyist (and proud of it), I suspect he can interact with “the public” just fine.

All and all, this meeting seems like a bunch of people grousing about doing their job.

I do tend to agree with him: PIO for a court is a lightweight job. It doesn’t require legal analysis. Moreover, PACER technical help is done by other people. And, unlike other jobs, PIO’s can terminate a call if someone is too obnoxious.

Moreover, most bloggers are sophisticated enough to use PACER on their own. Finally, part of me wonders courts even need PIOs. Courts have PACER, and they post their opinions. Non-lawyers will never understand the law, and a phonecall with a PIO won’t help them.

Next, I seriously doubt that any there is any widespread rudeness by bloggers to PIOs. Everyone knows that being rude gets you nowhere.

Finally, even if they were rude, taking crap from people is part of many jobs.

Posted by: S.cotus | Aug 2, 2007 7:02:06 AM

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In the body of your email, please indicate if you are a professor, student, prosecutor, defense attorney, etc. so I can gain a sense of who is reading my blog. Thank you, DAB