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Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at
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October 1, 2005

'Twas The Night Before Zeitgeist

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Posted by Denise Howell

'Twas the night before Zeitgeist, when all through the fog,
Not a creature was stirring, not even a blawg.
The shingles were hung on the Web with such care,
In hope that Saint BusDev soon would be there.

The children were nestled all snug in their beds,
While unspeakable visions did dance in their heads.
And Ernie in his Treo, and I in my thong,
Had just settled down with a good Springsteen song.

When out in the Ninth there arose such a clatter,
(And not just 'cause the Supremes think us Mad as a Hatter).
On over to Howard's I clicked (without Flash),
Tore into the case, and turned down the mash.

It took a few moments, though I'm far from deaf,
for the file to load up ('twas a cursed PDF).
When, what to my wondering eyes should appear,
A lustrous dissent! And the word "blawg" so clear!

With a little old author, so lively and hot,
I knew in a moment Kozinski I'd got.
More legal than eagles, his sources they came,
And he chided and scolded and called them by name!

"Through these lengthy proceedings, this judge, if he's that,
based his actions on something right out of a hat.
Not a case, not a statute, not treatise nor tome,
Was cited to justify where he did roam."

As questionable authorities before the wild hurricane fly,
when they meet with sound precedent, up to the sky,
So up to the house top, and on through the smog:
"Not a law review article — not even a blawg!"

And then, in a twinkling, I heard in the land,
the wailing and weeping of Unlearned Hand.
As I drew up my head, and was turning around,
I knew I had run the cause right to the ground.

Oh why, Judge Kozinski? Your timing does blow!
Just 400, you know, will be all who will go!
A bundle of blawgers would give their eyeteeth,
to hear Larry and Barry and Sergey — (no Keith?).

Our hopes — how you've dashed them! The world now — how chary!
Of those at the end of your list they'll be wary.
Your nod to our presence, though lovely and fine,
Has put us, no bones, at the end of the line,

Of writers whose words perhaps warrant belief.
Your list does encircle our PageRanks like a wreath.
It has a broad reach, near as broad as the telly,
And leaves little blawgs in a heap sort of smelly.

We were clubby and pumped, a right jolly old meme,
With more juice when we posted than it might have seemed.
But a blink of your eye and a shake of your head,
Soon gave us to know we had much left to dread.

For together with those who think "blawg" is distasteful,
(And those who think words not in Webster's are wasteful),
I'm afraid that the finger is all that we've got,
From Google, re Zeitgeist — invited, we're not.

(Rick or Glenn, if you are, I just don't want to hear it.
There's already too much that's crushing my spirit.)
But I heard them exclaim, as they blawged late at night,
"If you're going to dis us, then link us — all right??"

Comments (3) + TrackBacks (0) | Category: Blawgs | Humor


1. Mad Kane on October 2, 2005 2:35 AM writes...

I love it. In fact, I'm "mad" about it. Thanks for linking me.

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2. raining-noodles on October 2, 2005 7:09 AM writes...

Haha. Brilliant entry =)

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3. Dotty Simons on October 27, 2005 5:49 AM writes...

You probably inspired other poets - at least one - in New Orleans to write. Check out this apocalyptic number --

Shake 'N' Bake - Yet It's Expected
by Dotty Simons Friday, Oct. 07, 2005 at 10:26 PM

Shake 'N' Bake - Yet It's Expected

by Dotty Simons

If it wasn't a suspicion
Why would she sneak
Along impassable roads ?

This disaster-zone held; unfathomed.
Least of all by a tiny woman
You can tell a mile away
She was born
In New Orleans.

Her world fell apart
Like having her ass
Handed back in a sling.

Very few solutions seemed
Outside illusion's dreams.
Survival a test
Of who gets in or out
Using a ruse
Her tight orange vest then
Talk dirty-rough with officers
Cruising on duty
Like one of the boys.

But, Berta's one of us. Not one of them.

We were testing the periphery
As the state troopers amassed.
Finding weaknesses in the lines
For others to pass un-noticed.

A single individual crossing
In or out of New Orleans
Became our geometry,
Our map,
Of alternate supply lines.

Of course there was suspicion
In the air we breathed, but
less in our camp, we hoped,
than among their ranks

Of enemies as rag-tag as us,
Out where their military brass
Dressed in civvies like CNN
Just as frantic to get the news
Most likely pissin their pants
Over what's comin down
When it blows again like L.A. soon.

A final fully armed American solution
If these locals got their chance
To stomp some "nigger-lovin' ass
Once and for all", like they said they would.

Surrounding us, cornering us rats
Amidst a devastated world of roofs
Or muck-soaked shacks, the bones of what
Both whites and blacks once called home --
Now, cross-spray our door
Mark-up our filth-pocked property.

Rescues recall old frights as a
Posse skids an armored bass boat by.
Each wake splashes memories,
Mimics assaults in drive-by shoot-outs
We're always forced to watch as if
Way back . . Big Easy, now a bayou
Sank to water-slime, un-natural black.
Back when crime weighs mothers down by day
Each night intolerable, inescapable outside
A familiar, sympathetic enclave brinked upon a cave-in now.
"Mother-fuck !" "Hold on tight !"

Feeling betrayed by streets, now land
Inundated, we're
Surrounded -
Only outsiders sail in
Strain imaginations. What sucks our blood?
These sorties upon peasant huts, over us?
Never landing to lend a hand? Pure exhaustion?

Land smothered, land dead
We never, ever could declare we owned it
In clear deed or title when
Uncle Sam and Jim Crow or, a southern
Big Daddy War-Bucks came around.

The strategists on power's side
The president's brightest
Gag on sights of another,
Any other bloodbath certainties, they
Start crapping on each other
For Instant Replay re-hashed
National broadcasts on TV.
Unamused, incumbent Republicans
In mid-term fright - "so hush it up"
Talk of bloodbaths sometime tomorrow
Might favor a Democrat.

Yet who would or who could control
The mercenaries,
The Blackwater boys,
Hired to protect rich properties,
So far from homes
In South Africa, Tel Aviv and Des Moines?
Banking 15,000 bucks apiece, this month alone.

Our clearest-headed sons
Ones you would choose
As leaders
Were not on drugs, yet
Late at night were as confused
By muses and images.
Memories of other sieges
Seized their minds
As they talked late at night.
All tied in knots they unravelled
Trying to distinguish past
From present, from the future battles.

No strategy, no objective loomed as clear
As the check-points
With temporary mounds
All of us encountered
And catapulted
Scattering along our fragile levies.

With two sides lined up opposing,
The least we knew was all it takes:
Who we are,
Where and why we're hold-outs
Explaining how evacuees
Returned uninvited
Will never abandon their homes.

That day and that night
The only certainty
Was that the soldiers
The State's surrogates -- the mercenaries
Would resume the attack
While witnesses had other worries, then
Investigators discovering drug laboratories
Could blame it all on narco riff-raff.

That is why
As night fell
Berta snuck over and went alone
To return next morning
Loaded with our supplies.

After her trip,
Then ten more guys and gals united with us
To resettle stricken New Orleans.

We're here in the Seventh Ward to last.
Tied at the waist
To young flowers
The boys and girls
Of northern colleges,
Our freedom temporarily
Ransomed from a total sorrow.

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