Thanks largely to the leadership of Alistair Dawson, the Litigation Section of the State Bar of Texas last year commenced online publication of News for the Bar. The latest quarterly issue includes two items that Blawgletter finds entrancing — the first mainly because we wrote it and the second because in it a federal judge pithily explains why litigation has in the last 25 years come to cost so much and take so long while producing no better results.
Our article — "Blawging as Marketing" — starts on page four of the Winter 2007-08 edition. It explains why blawging appeals to us more than other kinds of marketing:
I don’t have the schmoozing gene. I prefer interacting with people I already know and like. So the life of meeting strangers at receptions, open houses, banquets, awards ceremonies, early breakfasts, late lunches, CLE and sporting events, poetry readings, shotgun weddings, and All About Eve screenings holds less than little appeal to me. I do not excel at that kind of marketing because I do not enjoy it.
But I do love to write and to get people laughing. Marketing that lets me do things I already adore makes the most sense for me.
In the second piece, which commences on page 17, Gretchen Sween interviews U.S. District Judge Royal Furgeson of the Western District of Texas, El Paso Division. Judge Furgeson laments the transmogrification of civil litigation into a "paper war". And he pulls no punches when identifying the transmogrifier — the U.S. Supreme Court. In three lines of cases, he explains through the interviewer, the Court invited litigants to deluge trial courts with "enormous briefs" and "voluminous attachments that . . . reduce the whole process to a trial by paper."
The decisions that kindled the paper wars will be familiar to federal litigators: Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317 (1986), encouraged motions for summary judgment; Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, 509 U.S. 579 (1993), opened the door for multitudinous challenges to experts and their opinions; and Bell Atlantic Co. v. Twombly, 127 S. Ct. 1955 (2007), invited motions to test the "plausibility" of pleadings.
We confess that we hadn’t realized the profound effect of the procedural hurdles that the triple threat of Celotex, Daubert, and Twombly put in the path of trial on the merits, and yet now it seems blazingly obvious.
Thank you, Judge Furgeson, for opening our eyes.