Photo of Bexis

Yesterday we blogged about co-promotion, an obscure topic if ever there was one.  Today we’re blogging about promotion that’s considerably less obscure – self promotion.  We’re not all that much into self-promotion here on the Drug And Device Law Blog, and before you start throwing things and telling us we’re a pack of blogging liars, try this.  Go look for a link to our law firm’s (that would be Dechert LLP) website on this page. You won’t find it.  It’s not there.  We provide you with our personal pages (so you know who we are, or at least who we want you to think we are) and professional emails (so you can contact us), but that’s it. So it’s not like we’re being total hypocrites here.
We continue this blog for the same reason we started it. That’s to provide up-to-date information and commentary useful to those who, like us, defend pharmaceutical and medical device companies (also vaccines) in product liability litigation, either in law firms or in-house legal departments.  We have strong views on practically all aspects of this subject – we’ve written books and articles – and our big-firm platform allows us the relative luxury of keeping current on a plethora of legal issues, from preemption to ediscovery.  We firmly believe that a rising tide lifts all boats, that is, that defense wins anywhere help other defendants (like our clients) win everywhere.
That’s why we blog, so the defense lawyer on the front line in Augusta, Georgia or Spokane, Washington can get real-time access to new decisions (and what they mean) and tactical innovations (such as removal techniques) being pursued by us white-shoes up in our air conditioned skyscrapers.  All we ask in return is that you folks in the field let us know when you’ve won something so we can report it (with full attribution, of course) to everybody else.  Our soapbox is, and always has been, pointed squarely towards our colleagues in the defense bar and the in-house people who supervise us.
So to that extent we’re self-promoters.  We believe we have something to say that others who do what we do will find worthwhile.  Big deal.  We share that view with everybody else who’s ever blogged.
But that’s it. It goes no further. You won’t find bells and whistles, ads, or any sort of fancy graphics here – only content; we try to post something every business day.  We didn’t start blogging with the expectation that we were going to be quoted in the press, or in law review articles, or that we would be requested to give speeches and the like.  That’s all happened, but from day one we’ve said that the availability of such opportunities is what has most surprised us as a consequence of creating a successful blog.
And something else goes along with successful blogging.
The more blogs there are, and the more legal blogs (“blawgs”), the more other folks out there want to take advantage of the new media’s popularity for their own purposes.  One way these non-bloggers do that is to “rank” us bloggers. Technorati’s been doing that sort of thing for years, although their rankings are so opaque we’ve never really understood them.  But who mentions that?  Technorati needs to start handing out badges.
In the last couple of weeks we’ve been informed, first, that according to Lexis-Nexis, this blog is one of the top 25 tort law blogs in the country.  It’s an honor we share with some other blogs we link to, such as Abnormal Use, FDA Law Blog, Mass Tort Defense, Pharmalot, and Tort Talk.  We also find some of our favorite advocates from the other side on the list:  Litigation and Trial and the NY Personal Injury Law Blog.
About a week later, we’re also informed that the legal gods of the ABA have anointed our blog as one of the best 100 law blogs in the whole country.  Wow!  We share that list with some true heavyweights, like AboveTheLaw, SCOTUS Blog, and The Volokh Conspiracy.  We look at those puppies, and we figure there’s a little more going on than a few guys commenting on cases when they have a spare moment.  Some (lucky?) folks must do legal blogging full time.  Seriously, though, we are flattered; it’s the fourth consecutive year we’ve been on the ABA’s list.
However, there’s more to these awards than the pretty badges (we’re sure our tech guys will figure out how to get the ABA’s latest up).  We’re supposed to get you – our faithful readers – to vote for us for this or that.  For the ABA, it’s vote for the number one blawg in twelve different categories.  For Lexis/Nexis it’s name the best tort blog of all.
Anyway, if you want to vote for us, we thank you.  We’ve just given you the links.
Bexis voted, and since he refuses to vote for himself, he went with SCOTUS blog (among others) on the ABA site, and the FDA Law Blog on Lexis/Nexis.  Then again, Bexis is an old stick-in-the-mud about this sort of thing.  He doesn’t even like fan voting for the all star game (only one such game warrants the article “the”).  Remember what happened in 1957.
So if you don’t want to vote, that’s fine, too.  It’s all a bunch of log rolling.  Indeed, some of our friends on the plaintiff side, more accustomed to pejorative language, would probably call it a Google-ranking scam or at least blatant cyber-hucksterism.  Essentially, in return for the privilege of festooning our site with badges, we’re supposed to write posts like these to drive traffic (you guys, our readers) to their sites.  Lexis/Nexis is even worse – in order to vote, you have to register for its “communities” – and they ask us to link to them.
You’ll find that link right next to the link to our firm’s webpage, folks.
We’re not terribly comfortable with unpaid shilling for anybody, so this implicit – and sometimes explicit – quid pro quo arrangement leaves us feeling a little queasy.  Not to mention, the expectation of mutual back scratching takes some of the fun out of winning this sort of recognition.
Anyway, we don’t want to take up more of your valuable time on a subject that, at the end of the day, is neither here nor there when it comes to what this blog is trying to accomplish.  On this subject (and probably only this subject) we’re content to let the other side of the “v.” have the last word.  Bloggers Max Kennerly and Eric Turkewitz have more choice things to say about badges for law bloggers, if you’re interested.