Friday, December 29, 2006

2006 CLawBies - Canada Law Blog Awards

There's no doubt that Canadian Law blogs were on a roll in 2006. Our online voices have made inroads into the US blogosphere, and we've established great connections with European law blogs. So in the spirit of the Blawggies & the Blawg Review awards, here's my inaugural edition of the CLawBies. Enjoy!

1) Best Canadian Law Blog (or Blogger) Award: Michael Geist - Simply put, Michael Geist is the most influential of Canadian law bloggers. He's the epitome of a thought leader, and our Canadian equivalent to Lawrence Lessig. And that's saying something. Runner ups: Rob Hyndman, Simon Chester.

2) Best Practitioner Support Blog - No question on this one. If you track privacy law in Canada, you read David Fraser's Canadian Privacy Law Blog. David must also be Canada's most dedicated blogger. His work is as close to exhaustive as a blog can deliver. And did I mention David's selection as a 2006 Outstanding Young Canadian? Runner ups: eLegal Canton, Alan Gahtan’s Technology and Internet Law Blog

3) Legal Culture Award - Precedent: The New Rules of Law and Style. Melissa Kluger's mix of law firm issues, fashion advice, and legal news worthy controversy is one of a kind in Canada. The tabloid approach to law blogs may soon be upon us, but we can take comfort that Precedent is doing it right - with class and humour.

4) My Non-Legal Audience Award goes to Rob Hyndman - Law bloggers constantly talk about engaging non-legal audiences, Rob Hyndman does it. The 'A-list' Technology bloggers read & comment on Rob's posts like he's one of the family. Why? Probably because better than any other Canadian law blogger, Rob understands his blog as a voice. He engages and converses where others simply opine. New law bloggers should take note.

5) Friend of the North Awards - Blogging is international, and keeping the north-south idea flow is important. So I'm recognizing Kevin O'Keefe and Dennis Kennedy with the first 'Friend of the North' Awards -- given to a US law blogger that actively reads and links to Canadian law blogs.

6) EuroCan Connection Awards - In a similar vein, European law bloggers are also very important to making our Canadian voices heard. Leading the way in 2006, I thought, were these three blogs: Information Overlord, ServiceDoc Info and Markenblog. A big and regular thanks to each of them.

7) Practice Management Award - I didn't think there was a worthy Canadian in this category, but a new entry is about to add a substantial Canadian voice to this blogging genre. Allison Wolf's The Lawyer Coach Blog is very new, but very good. So trust me on this one, take her feed, and watch it soar in 2007.

8) Law Librarian Blog Award - Michel-Adrien Sheppard's Library Boy. Michel-Adrien has had an outstanding year, breaking stories faster than almost everyone. He's constantly relaying content that Librarians can rely on. Runner ups: BCCLS What's New Blog, Connie Crosby. (Of note... I'm excluding the VLLB from this and all other Award categories.)

9) Best Legal Technology Blog - I'm biased on this one, but Slaw is world class. From Jordan Furlong's guest blogging, to the Marshall Rothstein SCC appointment, to the Grey Lit theme week, Slaw is the context behind legal technology. 2006 was a mighty fine year, and I'm proud to be a part.

10) Best New Law Blog Award - Lots of great new Canadian law blogs, and way too tough to call anything but a tie here: Vincent Gautais, Atlanteknology, Precedent, and the Canadian Trademark Blog*. (*Disclosure: While I've disqualified the VLLB, the content coming out of the CTB is top notch. So I think this one's justified, despite my involvement.)

11) Law Professor Blog Award - University of Toronto Law School Faculty Blog. This category is still under represented in Canada, and the UofT blog could bump up their posting frequency, but this initiative is definitely a quality effort. Let's hope that 2007 will bring out more Canadian law professor blogs! Runner ups: Vincent Gautais, Michael Geist

I know I've missed a number of great Canadian voices, and my apologies for any glaring omissions. Plus, this really is all in fun! Make sure you're on my list for 2007!

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