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Previewing Blawg Review #33 - Overlawyered

Walter Olson and Ted Frank of Overlawyered will be hosting the next edition of Blawg Review.  Jonathon Wilson wrote an interesting review of Overlawyered that is available here.

Although Overlawyered is billed a tort reform site, it also does an excellent job of "explor[ing] an American legal system that too often turns litigation into a weapon against guilty and innocent alike, [and] erodes individual responsibility" in the criminal law-context.  Their coverage of rampant overcriminalization  is by far the best in the blogosphere.

Personal responsibility should play a role in our criminal justice system, too.  All too often someone regrets a decision they made, and instead of owning the decision, he or she seeks someone else to blame.  I predict that everyone reading this who practices criminal law will represent at least one innocent person accused of sexual assault or child molestation.  Child molestation charges are frequently levied in divorce proceedings.  Convincing a child to falsely accuse his or her daddy of child molestation so that the wife can extort a larger divorce settlement even has a name - the nuclear option.  It happens, even if few have the courage to talk about it.

Our criminal system has also begun to criminalize conduct most of us would not consider a crime.  A few prominent examples are noted in this review of the Cato Institute's excellent book on overcriminalization.

What I like best about Overlawyered is that Ted and Walter are not afraid of defending their positions.  Indeed, they've added C&F to its blogroll, even though Norm is a very successful trial lawyer.  They also regularly link to Evan Schaeffer's Legal Underground.  Evan's blog is the web's preeminent source for anti-tort reform information.  These guys are not afraid of presenting alternative viewpoints.

Ted and Walter are a class act.  So even though I don't agree with a lot of what they say, I read Overlawyerd daily.  And I encourage you to as well.