It’s always a struggle to get lawyers in the personal plight areas of the law (criminal, bankruptcy, personal injury et al) to think beyond marketing when it comes to blogging. Somehow blogging to these lawyers is a necessary evil now that the Internet has replaced yellow pages.

So it comes with pleasure to see the best in criminal law blog posts New York Attorney, Scott Greenfield, showcases in his annual ‘Best Criminal Blawg Post of the Year.’

Greenfield’s blog, Simple Justice, is a daily read of mine. His 2 or 3 posts a day are among the best in law blogging, whether they be on criminal law, current affairs in America, or the state of our legal profession.

Though I am not as familiar with some of these blogs and bloggers as Greenfield is, I feel very comfortable in sharing his commentary on the best in criminal law blogging for 2011. The posts and bloggers, with accompanying Greenfield commentary, highlighted below should provide good guidance for criminal lawyers considering blogging and those criminal lawyers who are already blogging .

  • New York criminal defense attorney Nathan Burney: His blog and tumblr, The Criminal Lawyer’s Guide to Criminal Law are perhaps the most significant work done by a blawger this year and foundational work that I fully expect to see bound and distributed to every student in America.
  • Radley Balko, senior writer for Huffington Post doing investigative reporting on civil liberties and the criminal justice system: His three part series did an exceptional job of debunking common, and self-defeating myths about criminal law. Radley, the agitator in residence at Huffington Post, is seen by a far broader and larger audience than one finds in the blawgosphere, but Huff Post will never be mistaken for a blawg.
  • Appellate Squawk by Anonymous PD: His blog has taken no prisoners while allowing us to laugh at the nightmares we experience every day. Given the pervasive pain and suffering that comes of criminal law on its best day, we most assuredly need Squawk to keep up the effort to give us a laugh where we would otherwise cry.
  • Two incredibly moving posts, one by Mirriam Seddiq and another by Brian Tannebaum, that brought poignancy to the year’s travails, forcing us to confront our inability to make meaningful headway in efforts to end the violence and harm done in the name of Order.
  • Eric Mayer wrote his letter to the police, one that most of us wish one of our brothers in blue would read. But they won’t.
  • One of George Washington Lawprof Orin Kerr’s posts on computer crime. Orin’s work is both excellent and incredibly informative, if occasionally infuriating. We need to remind ourselves not to stay in the echo chamber, read and consider only those writings that confirm our ideas. Without question, Orin provides some of the most well considered and fascinating writing on cutting-edge criminal law issues in the blawgosphere, and should not be missed.
  • Ken at Popehat: Some of the hardest hitting work, not only deconstructing a scam investigation, taking on a great many unpleasant battles this year, including the violation of Amy Alkon at the hand of TSA Agent Thedala McGee.

As for the best criminal law blog post, per Greenfield? ‘Schadenfreude, Irony, and The Defense Function‘ by Houston criminal defense lawyer, Mark Bennett, who’s been publishing his well respected blog, Defending People, for over 7 years.