No, Woman In Black, don’t go!

One of my favorite blawgs in the last year or two seems to have disappeared. Woman In Black was an experienced public defender in some western state who shared great insights about her practice, constitutional law, and also some details of her particular state’s law and practice. This all came with frequent and funny anecdotes about her personal life — children, dates, movies, etc. She had a great mix and I always enjoyed catching up on her posts.

So imagine my dismay when I visit today to find Blogger saying, “Sorry, the blog at has been removed.” What!? Google shows that her last post on Nov. 5 suggests that she has decided not to be a woman wearing black any longer:

One of the heaviest things, mentally and emotionally, about the job is that I am responsible for my clients in so many ways. Yeah, we all know we are supposed to “counsel” and “advise” and “assist” in decision-making, but that’s really bullshit when you are talking about our clients. How many times a week do you get asked, “What should I do?” or told “If that’s what you think, I’ll do it.” or even “Tell me what to do.” But then there is the segment of clients you simply can’t tell ANYTHING to, or at least they won’t hear what you are telling them. So, my poorly-drawn analogy is that America is like the public defender client base. And now Obama is responsible.

So I wore black just about every day for the last eight years and now I don’t have to. It is oddly liberating.

That’s cool (and a good example of her style—frank, smart, always w/an edge of humor), but this doesn’t mean she has to stop blogging! Please Woman In Black, come back!


Hey reader! By which I mean you people subscribing to this blog in an RSS/newsreader. Has it seemed like this blog has been dead for, like, forever? Or at least since May? Well, that’s because I’ve posted rarely and randomly. But it’s also b/c the feed was screwed up, I think, by a WP update or something. I think it’s working now. I mean, I hope it is. If you — someone, anyone, Beuller — would be so kind, could you just drop a little note to let me know whether you successfully received this post in your feedreader of choice?

I wish I’d never gotten involved w/the feedburner monster, but as long as it’s working, well, cool.


List every job (other than those listed in response to preceding questions 23A and 24), including without limitation all temporary, part-time, full-time, and self employment, paid or unpaid, you have held for the ten year period immediately prior to the date of the filing of this application. List jobs in reverse date order so that your current or most recent (non-judicial and non-legal) employment is listed first.

Lawyers are the biggest idiots on the planet. I want to pull my hair out!!!!

Also not helping: This blog is somehow broken. The RSS feed’s not working, which it never really has in any way that was satisfactory, and I can’t post through the xml-rpc interface. So sadness all around. The dearth of posting here means fewer people follow anyway, and the hassle associated w/keeping the damned thing running, updating software, troubleshooting, etc., is beginning to outweigh the benefits. Hmph. Changes to come. Suggestions always welcome.

Click with caution!

I believe there may be two or three people who actually visit this page once in a while to see if there are updates (others read on RSS, which I think is the better way). This message is for those of you who actually load the page: Don’t click on the random photo near the top of the page. It will take you to my now-retired photoblog, and then you’ll quickly be redirected to some sort of pr0n site to which you probably don’t want to go. I will try to fix this soon, but first I have to figure out how the heck some hacker made this happen. I assume it’s some sort of exploit of the randomization code that makes the photos change. Any suggestions or help would be appreciated.

Meanwhile, you spell meringue m-e-r-i-n-g-u-e. Just so you know.

Also, this writ of supervisory control was the highlight of last week.

Sadness! Audacity’s Gone!

Alas, I just discovered the blogger formerly known as Audacity (formerly, long ago, here) has quit blogging and deleted her blog! If you visit her site, this is all you will see:
Audacity was one of the blogs I’ve been reading regularly since starting as a PD so I will be sad she’s no longer there to offer her tidbits on football, travel, and indigent defense. Plus, she only recently responded very helpfully to my whining about never going to trial and now her post is just gone, pfft! Like it never existed.

Deletion. It’s powerful.

In her final post (which I luckily was able to see thanks to a cached RSS feed), Audacity said she might be interested in an anonymous group PD blog. Perhaps its time we start one of those? I’m not sure how it would work, but it could potentially be interesting.

Ah, I don’t know. I do know that I will miss you, Audacity!

ABA: What you do for me?

Last week’s inbox brought the latest installment of the ABA Weekly Journal Newsletter. Inside are interesting tidbits about “big brother” facial recognition software from Micro$oft, some slightly interesting whining from biglaw associates about the gruntwork they no longer have to do ((I like the one who had to “appear and bail out clients who managed to get arrested late at night.” I thought I could be disbarred for bailing out a client!)), and a Blawg Directory that lists 200 “Criminal Justice” and 12 “Criminal Procedure” blogs. ((Who knew!? A couple of interesting finds from a quick browse include Simple Justice, a NY criminal defense blog w/a slightly academic focus, and the Cook County Public Defenders blog, to which I really should probably pay more attention. There’s also the No Montana Death Penalty Blog; it’s not very active, but good to know it’s there. Michigan Public Defender also looks promising (I love it when cops testilie!, but again, not very active. ))

But the really interesting bit in the newsletter is the story of a law school grad on a campaign to talk people out of law school:

“I’m on a one-woman mission to talk people out of law school,” she tells Law Blog. “Lots of people go to law school as a default. They don’t know what else to do, like I did. It seems like a good idea. People say a law degree will always be worth something even if you don’t practice. But they don’t consider what that debt is going to look like after law school.

“It affects my life in every way. And the jobs that you think are going to be there won’t necessarily be there at all. Most people I know that are practicing attorneys don’t make the kind of money they think lawyers make. They’re making $40,000 a year, not $160,000.”

Ah yes, so true. I do love my job. I do. What I don’t love is the debt it took to get it and the feeling that I will never escape or retire that debt. Ugh. I don’t even like to think about it.

I haven’t paid up my ABA dues for this year but so far I continue to receive stuff from them as if I had paid. I don’t see much benefit from being a member of the ABA, but, speaking of debt, I do lament being unable to afford NACDL and National Lawyers’ Guild dues. Where do people find the money for these professional organizations? Grr…


Congrats Rodney-Winners!

Congratulations to all of this year’s Rodney Award Winners—the very best of the public defender blogging world. All winners are now linked in the blogroll on the lower right so I (and you, if you want) can get to know them better in the coming months.

While I think all the winners have great blogs, I really think Woman In Black should have won her categories and even been a contender for Best Blog overall. Every post she writes is just fascinating to me — great insights into the law, the practice of law, and important bits of life, as well.

But it was a very high-quality field. If you’re a reader looking for quality writing about the work and lives of public defenders, you’ll find plenty among this group. Again, congratulations to all!


the imbroglio is currently experiencing technical difficulties. The site is in the midst of it’s own little imbroglio, it seems. It will be back as soon as its humble editor figures out wtf is wrong w/it. Someone out there is probably sorry for any inconvenience, but around here we’re just pissed and unhappy. Helluva way to start the new year.

UPDATE: Things seem to be fixyed. Still don’t know what was wrong, but in the process of trying to figure it out I updated to WordPress 2.3.2, which destroyed the Ultimate Tag Warrior plugin that I was using to tag posts, so now you’ll see most posts have an ugly [tags]whatever[/tags] string at the end of them. If you know the solution to that little problem (like how to turn those strings into actual useful tags again, please let me know. Note to self: Be careful how much you rely on plugins!