Reflect, return, refresh

Eleven years ago this winter, I started a political blog, It was a source of great enjoyment to me and to my readers, all 6 of them (ok, a little wider than that, but not dramatically so.) The blog was a sort of rolling experiment in blog design, formatting, topic range (a lot about MD politics, a lot about law. etc.) I enjoyed it, and perhaps once or twice contributed something useful over the more or less 1500 posts that it ran – more, if you count the time when I ran it on Drupal as an experiment for maybe a year, I forget. Eventually I let it go to the dustbin of the dead domain scrapers; bought by some investor with an alleged address in Washington State, it now forwards to some German-language clickfarm, my own damn fault for letting it lapse.

Six years ago this week, I got up the gumption to go out on my own in solo practice for real, reserved (which I should have reserved 5 years before), got hosting and arranged for professional liability insurance. It wound up being the launchpad of my employment practice, starting with my unemployment appeals webpage in its various updated editions. That page soared high within Maryland searches within Google’s search algorithm, and still ranks quite high 5 years later.  That fact remains the ongoing joke of my practice: I wrote the page so as to provide something for visitors to read, not to bring the visitors in the door in the first place, but such is what indeed occurred.

Five months ago today, I joined with Jezic, Krum & Moyse LLC, a medium-sized firm with a sharp focus on the rapidly-growing Latino community of Montgomery County and nearby environs. During the last five months, I have had to learn more or less simultaneously:

  • the Spanish language, as spoken in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Nicaragua and Wheaton, MD
  • cultural and practical realities of the law firm’s Latino client base
  • personal injury law, practice and procedure (not my first contact, but my first contact at this level and volume)
  • the practice management software Needles, which I had not used before (was a Clio partisan and am still a fan) and
  • the practical “easing-in” to-do items in a full-time+++ job in a medium-sized office

The firm is famous for its long hours; working until 8 PM is normal and all attorneys must work a half-day on three out of four weekends. Accordingly, time is scarce and what free time I have is easily consumed by the important people in my life (starting with my sons) and quotidian responsibilities of groceries, dry cleaning, etc. So the blog has been pretty quiet; this has been probably the first 5 month period of relative blog silence since January 12, 2004, when I registered Crablaw. What posts I have made have been pretty cautious (it’s worthwhile to discourage drunk driving but it’s not exactly a profile in courage either.) Out of respect for my employer and its claim on my time, and out of a desire not to be the mouthiest new hire in the mid-Atlantic after more than 5 years of answering in my content only to myself. I knew I would return to blogging, but I wanted to make it “safe” – not for me personally (I, one crank lawyer blogger with wi-fi in his apartment, am not Charlie Hebdo or Theo van Gogh) but more out of respect.

Seventy-two years ago, a proto-blogging hero died on a guillotine in Munich. Sophie Scholl and her resistance group The White Rose distributed scathing leaflets at the University of Munich condemning Hitler’s war and his Final Solution, i.e. the mass extermination of European Jewry. For a while they got away with it, but eventually she and others were caught, “tried”, convicted and executed (a few in her group were imprisoned.) Had she been Catholic rather than Protestant, she would probably appear in icons; her name is inscribed at Yad Vashem and a bust of her likeness appears at Valhalla in Regensburg, a hall of historically or culturally significant Germans. If a 21-year old woman could be that brave, I have no excuse when I have no real skin in the game. On the other hand, there’s nothing wrong with taking a respectful tone (as opposed to my historic irreverance or cheek, or worse) while writing forthrightly either.

Eleven years ago, blogging was an outlet when I was unhappy about other things in my life. Today, in much bappier times, it’s more like an old friend returning after too long. So expect to see a little more activity here, especially on the weekends, and thanks for visiting.

Posted by Bruce Godfrey

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