I was in Boston on 9/11. Unable to fly home to Seattle, I drove my rental car down through Conneticutt onto Northern Manhattan the afternoon of 9/12 or 9/13, I am not sure which.
As a New York City native and an American, I had this fealing, being on the East Coast, I should try to help out. I am not sure what I was thinking I could do.
With the military stationed along the way into Manhatattan, the growing realization there was nothing I could do and probably a tear in my eye, I headed West across the George Washington Bridge into Jersey with the World Trade Center Towers still on fire and a glow on my left.
The Coronovirus pandemic has much the same effect on me. I am not a nurse, doctor, scientist or medical professional.
Heck, LexBlog can’t shut down our factories, and make the products that Governor Cuomo and the federal government are looking for – even if we get a low interest loan from the Governor, they’ll pay a premium for the products – and my COO, Garry Vander Voort, a native of Secaucus, can get us light manfucaturing space there.
But one thing I saw over the last few weeks was a rising to occassion by the American lawyer to help people in this pandemic. I saw ways that LexBlog could help these lawyers by “retooling” some of our software.
You see, this pandemic is raising all sorts of legal issues in all areas of the law. Application of existing laws – code, case and regultory to situations never imagined – or at least of this magnitude. And application of new laws and executive orders arising out of the pandemic.
Unlike 9/11, this pandemic is reaching Americans from farmers, manfucturers, small business owners, insurers, health care organizations, retirees, servers in restraunts and bars, hpspitality workers, nurses, doctors, scientists, patientsm caregivers and everyone else. Coast to coast.
These folks have questions that atr not just health questions. They have legal questions.
I am not a nurse, doctor or healthcare professionalm, but this time I lead a legal publishing company. Unlike other legal publishers, we have the largest network of legal reporters. A network with more expertise and covering more areas of the law and covering more areas of our society than any other publisher.
These 25,000 legal reporters, legal bloggers if you will, are rising to the occasion. And mind you these legal bloggers don’t pay to have their blogs on the LexBlog network. It’s free. Any legal professional can syndicate their copy through the LexBlog at no cost. Think an AP on the law – with the AP covering the pandemic in spades today.
Our first step in helping was get a publication up that aggregates and currates pandemic legal content for consumers, business people, the courts and government agencies. A legal data base of searchable legal insight on the pandemic that is unlike anyone elses.
That’s the Coronavirus Legal Daily (CLD). More to come on that and related platforms for publishing on the Pandemic we’ll make available to legal professionals, hopefully for free.
The CLD gives you a window into the magnitude of the pandemic publishing going on by legal professionals.
Unsurprisingly, but still staggering to view, is how closely the pandemic legal publishing follows the spread of the virus.
For a simpler breakdown, here are the post counts—again, just posts covering coronavirus and its legal ramifications for people and busineses—each Monday going back 10 weeks:
- Monday, January 20th: 0 posts
- Monday, January 27th: 2 posts
- Monday, February 3rd: 4 posts
- Monday, February 10th: 7 posts
- Monday, February 17th: 2 posts
- Monday, February 24th: 5 posts
- Monday, March 2nd: 13 posts
- Monday, March 9th: 41 posts
- Monday, March 16th: 194 posts
- Monday, March 23rd: 295 posts
In terms of who is producing that content, CLD gives us that as well. Here are the firms publishing the most on the subject, as of Friday afternoon:
- Squire Patton Boggs: 226 posts
- Norton Rose Fulbright: 141 posts
- Jackson Lewis: 81 posts
- Reed Smith: 79 posts
- Epstein Becker Green: 73 posts
The quantity of the posts isn’t as important—it’s the quality, or the specificity, of the content being published. Does it offer practical guidance? Is it tailored to to help people in need of advice?
It’s been a resounding “Yes” from nearly every area of law.
A few examples:
- Jeff Nowak, long a model of using his blog, FMLA Insights, to answer key questions for employers, offers in-depth but highly-scannable posts breaking down DOL guidance. He’s make it clear what companies need to know now.
- Going the other direction from “now,” though he has plenty current insight on the pandemic, Dan Schwartz covered what employers need to know about coronavirus way back in January.
- Erin Levine of the Hello Divorce Blog tackles the difficult task of co-parenting during the time of social distancing.
- Frank Burke, a Bay Area mediator, walked through running mediations on Zoom, the increasingly-popular VOIP platform.
- Cannabis law publications like Sheppard Mullins’s have been quick to note that, in deciding which businesses are essential and which aren’t, pot shops have landed in the former consistently.
- Jay O’Keeffe, author of the long-running De Novo: A Virignia Appellate Law Blog, writes up the various ways states are dealing with oral arguments.
- The team at Franczek Radelet has been excellent on laying out the impact of the virus on special education on their publication, Special Education Law Insights.