May It Please The Court

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May It Please The Court
by Leonard Rivkin
Barnes & Noble

 
Law.com CLE
Law.com Books
 
 

About MIPTC and a little about the author, J. Craig Williams

You can review the Author J. Craig Williams' formal bio and learn more about MIPTC here.

The bio is admittedly boring unless you want to know my qualifications. Here’s the real skinny. Why do I write the blog? First, I love to write, and have been writing practically every day for nearly 25 years. In the beginning, according to those who apparently knew, I used to be a terrible writer, even though part of my undergraduate degree was in journalism (the others were radio, TV and film, a.k.a. “Communication Arts”).

My first job, writing a newspaper, speeches and press releases in Richmond, Virginia for an AT&T subsidiary was consequently difficult. My boss, a white-haired woman in her 60’s, terrorized me as a writer, constantly correcting my grammar and story construction. I took more writing classes. I learned to write better, but apparently never good enough to satisfy my boss. Looking back on it, I’m not sure I ever could have.

When I went to law school in Iowa, they taught legal writing. It was a completely different style. Issue, Rule, Analysis and Conclusion. Rote, but then again not. Thankfully, the Iowa Writer’s Workshop allowed law students to expand their skills and practice fictional writing. I learned a lot from that program.

Indeed, some would say fictional writing is not far off from legal writing.

Perhaps you could have predicted that my writing experience at my first legal job in California would be surprisingly similar to the experience I had with my newspaper writing. I couldn’t have guessed that my former boss had a twin in the legal industry. Once again my writing was deemed insufficient. I took more writing classes. And more and more. Somewhere along the line, I think I finally got it. Now that you’re reading the blog, you’re the true judge of whether I’ve finally got it.

Now, the blog gets my attention every day that I can get to a computer. Weekdays, weekends, holidays and even vacations, much to the chagrin of my better half.

Here’s how it got started. One day in early 2003, I got an email from Glenn Garnes, who writes Esq. Law Tech Weekly, touting his blog. Then, I saw a few more blogs on the internet, and thought, “I can do that.” Blog posts and quotes came together, and May It Please The Court was born. Then in August 2003, the whole thing appeared on the internet.

Quotes had always fascinated me. As a kid, I pulled the Reader’s Digest from the mailbox and read each of the quips and quotes at the end of the article before I would even look at the stories themselves. Adding a Quote of the Day seemed a perfect fit for the blog, and gave me the opportunity to extend the daily post into a witty saying that hopefully expands the way you think about each post I write.

Having newspaper experience, I wanted a masthead that related to the law, but would capture how I perceive MIPTC. A caricature of a judge seemed appropriate, and who better than a judge from my favorite TV show, Rumpole of the Bailey? Dry British humor with a twist of wit.

Why all of the other features on the blog? Well, most people that know me well will tell you that I pay attention to details. Maybe too much - some would even say I’m anal. That’s fine, but that’s why you get indices, search engines, calendars and many other links to use.

When I’m not blogging or practicing law, I surf the internet and play with computer toys, gizmos and gadgets and listen to music. To gain some perspective on life, get out of the office and away from a computer, I snow ski in the winter, scuba dive year round, surf really poorly and love to ride my Road King. Plus, an occasional cigar goes up in smoke as a glass of scotch goes down. Oh yeah, I exercise and watch what I eat, too.

I also try to keep track of my three grown children. One is at the University of Iowa College of Law with his wife and the second is recently married and now working in his field with a Masters in History from UC Riverside. The third (my baby girl - OK- not so much anymore, but that's my nickname for her) is working on her Masters in Environmental Science at Humboldt State University. They make Dad proud.

My Mom in Cape Cod gets a phone call from me most every weekend, and we reminisce about summers on the Cape when my father’s old secretary threw her cottage keys at him to get him out of the pulpit for a week, but mostly out of her hair. You want to know where the attitude in my blog comes from? My Mom would tell you it’s my Dad, and his pointed sermons. I may have listened more closely than I thought.

The team. This blog is the result of a lot of work by several different highly qualified people, including designers and developers. As you may be able to tell, this blog is not one of the typical platforms available to bloggers on the mainstream web. It was designed to match our law firm web pages by Bryan Ventura and Nigel and Ursula Nelmes of EPI Marketing. The code for the blog was originally developed by Costin Tuculescu of CosNet. Now it is maintained, rebuilt, developed further and tweaked by Rushabh Jhaveri of Neurosity. Together, they make it all technically possible. Many thanks to each for their fine work.

Click here for a primer on how to use MIPTC.