2009 CLawBies – Canadian Law Blog Awards

The time has come to recognize another year of great Canadian legal blogging. Welcome to the 2009 CLawBies!

Once again I am amazed by the number of nomination posts and tweets we received. Canadian law blogging continues to have a strong community, and a willingness to recognize the contributions of others. Definitely something to be proud of!

The CLawBies are in their fourth year now and we continue to have success with our concept of public nominations. Not only did the blogging & tweeting help spread the word, but there were many ‘thank-you’s’ exchanged and new relationships established. I know our list at lawblogs.ca certainly grew over the month of December. A big thanks to everyone who participated.

Before launching into the details, however, I do offer my usual warning not to take the Clawbies (or any other blog Awards) too seriously. And be sure to see ALL the nominations.

So without further ado, here are the 2009 Clawbies. Enjoy!

1) Best Canadian Law Blog (or Blogger) Award: Slaw – As most readers will already know, Slaw is not only a huge presence on the Canadian law blog scene, but it’s also a testament to the innovative and creative vision of Simon Fodden. It’s often hard to see how Slaw could get better, but it did in 2009. Want proof? See this year’s guest blogging initiatives, which included major law firms, provincial ombudsmen from across Canada, plus five Justices from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice. Add a DK Blawggies recognition, and we have a winner!  Runner ups: Canadian Privacy Law Blog, Wise Law Blog

2) Best Practitioner Blog – (TIE) Erik MacGraken’s BC Injury Law and ICBC Claims Blog is an excellent source of commentary on BC injury law and long overdue for a CLawBie. Erik’s also an innovator as demonstrated by his social media presence and new Skype consultations. Dan Michaluk is another overdue winner. Dan’s All About Information blog is not only a regular subscription for me, but AAI was one of the top nominated entries for 2009. Getting a nod from David Fraser never hurts either. Runner ups: Brian Bowman’s On the Cutting Edge, The Cross-Border Biotech Blog, Thoughts from a Management Lawyer.

3) Legal Culture AwardLaw is Cool – Two of the fastest rising stars in Canadian legal blogging just happen to be law students. Lawrence Gridin and Omar Ha-Redeye lead an impressive group of contributors at Law is Cool, and are seeding the queue with more law student bloggers for the future. Bravo! Culture doesn’t happen without a little sweat equity.  Runner ups: Precedent, Dynamic Lawyers Parody Videos

4) Non-Legal Audience Award goes to back to Rob Hyndman, and the interesting part is that Rob’s blogging less than he ever has. Why an award then? Diversifying one’s web presence is a lesson for every blogging lawyer. For Rob, see: Mesh, Twitter, #Hohoto. It would be great to see Rob blogging more, but as long as he’s ‘Mr. Best Practice’ two years ahead of everyone else … congrats to Rob! Runner up: Connie Crosby who also has a very diversified web presence.

5) Friend of the North Awards – This award is intended to recognize US bloggers that look north of the border to network and exchange ideas. This year, I’d like to shine a light on Dennis Kennedy who never seems to forget the law bloggers from Canada. Read his past two Blawggie awards, and you can see the distinctly Canadian flavour. Last year’s winners Doug Cornelius & Mary Abraham are also on our list. Both were kind enough to submit nominations, and remain ‘Friends of the North’.

6) EuroCan Connection Awards – This award recognizes European law blog friends who highlight and link to Canadian law blogs. The internationally loved Charon QC gets a repeat nod. His 2009 Simon Fodden podcast interview was just the latest chapter of good will.

7) Practice Management Award – (TIE) Avoid A Claim Blog & David Bilinsky.  David’s Thoughtful Legal Management blog continues to set the standard. We’ll stop short of calling him a Canadian icon, but the reach of his commentary on PM issues is global. He also never forgets to take the foreign PLTC speakers curling (serious).  PracticePro’s Avoid A Claim Blog is a relatively new offering but it fills a big gap. From advice on scams that target lawyers to mitigating malpractice risk and CLE material, the advice goes far beyond its principal audience of Ontario lawyers.

8) Law Librarian Blog AwardShaunna Mireau on Canadian Legal Research – Giving Shaunna Mireau a CLawBie in 2009 is about as unexpected as Slaw winning — it just made sense. Shaunna stands out for work with CALL’s vendor relations committee, her injection of law library issues into Slaw and all around support for the profession. Runner ups: Library Technician Dialogue, Courthouse Libraries BC’s The Stream.

9) Best Legal Technology BlogMichael Geist – Canada’s best known law blogger, Michael Geist also provides some of the most insightful commentary on law and technology. From copyright to anti-spam legislation and net neutrality, Michael continues to produce easy to read commentary and an admirable volume of material. He’s also personally invested in making a difference, which is equally laudable. Runner Up? Sorry, Canada is still lacking a true ‘legal technology’ blog. Not that we can’t look south, but a Canadian spin would be nice.

10) Best New Law Blog Award – (TIE)  The Trial Warrior by Antonin Pribetic was one of the best new entries for 2009, within Canada or not. A wonderful blend of academia and practitioner reflections. Litigators would be wise to add this one to their subscription list for 2010.  Blogasaurus Lex – Really? a blog named Blogasaurus Lex?!  Rest assured, the Alberta LRC’s blog is much more than a catchy name. Focused on their mandate of public legal education, the content equally measures up to their creative title.

11) Law Professor Blog Award – (TIE) Doorey’s Workplace Law Blog and University of Alberta Faculty of Law Blog are repeat winners in this category with both continuing to inspire and be read in 2009. David Doorey was our best new law blogger last year, and his volume and quality of posts were again top notch. The UofA blog should be considered the model for group blogging by a law faculty – a great mix of case summaries, professional trends, faculty news, and unexpected items of interest. Runner up: The Court

Congratulations to everyone!  My apologies for glaring omissions or unintended bias. Please be sure your blog is on lawblogs.ca to be considered in 2010!

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