Short Take: Green Bag Follies

The Green Bag is an inside baseball thing for legal writers. It’s fun. It’s funny, and it’s pretty cool to be honored for exemplary legal writing. Even if it’s just a twit.

Exemplary Legal Writing

2016 Honorees

Our new panel of luminaries and sages has selected the following works as exemplars of good legal writing from 2016. All of them (except for the books) will appear in the 2017 Almanac & Reader. Congratulations to all.

Judicial Opinions
• Frank H. Easterbrook, Walker v. Trailer Transit, Inc., 824 F.3d 688 (7th Cir. 2016)
• Neil M. Gorsuch, Gutierrez-Brizuela v. Lynch, 834 F.3d 1142 (10th Cir. 2016)
• Natalie E. Hudson, State v. Haywood, 886 N.W.2d 485 (Minn. 2016)
• Elena Kagan, Voisine v. United States, 136 S.Ct. 2272 (2016)
• M. Margaret McKeown, De Fontbrune v. Wofsy, 838 F.3d 992 (9th Cir. 2016)
• Don Willett, J&D Towing, LLC v. American Alternative Ins. Corp., 478 S.W.3d 649 (Tex. 2016)

State Supreme Court Briefs
• Theodore J. Boutrous, Jr., et al., Petition for Review, Vergara v. State, 209 Cal.Rptr.3d 532, 558 (Cal. 2016)
• Constantine L. Trela, Jr., Ruth Greenwood, and Annabelle Harless, Brief of Amici Curiae League of Women Voters, et al., Hooker v. Illinois State Bd. of Elections, 63 N.E.3d 824 (Ill. 2016)
(We’d hoped to honor a third brief, but lead counsel, a member of a prominent Delaware law firm, never responded to our polite (we hope) and persistent (we know) pursuit of permission to republish.)

Law Review Articles of 25 Years Ago
• David C. Frederick, John Quincy Adams, Slavery, and the Disappearance of the Right of Petition, 9 Law & History Review 113 (1991)
• Jonathan R. Macey & Geoffrey P. Miller, Origin of the Blue Sky Laws, 70 Texas Law Review 347 (1991)
(We’d hoped to honor a third article, but the author, a professor at a prominent Connecticut law school, never responded to our polite (we hope) and persistent (we know) pursuit of permission to republish. We view his non-response and the non-response by the Delaware lawyer (see above) as (a) denials of permission and (b) healthy reminders of the Green Bag’s insignificance in the eyes of at least some (and maybe more than some) VIP lawyers.)

• Morris Davis (Mar. 12, 2016)
• Bryan A. Garner (Mar. 21, 2016)
• Scott Greenfield (Mar. 15, 2016)
• Harvard Law Review (Apr. 1, 2016)
• Orin Kerr (Mar. 31, 2016)
• Charles Lane (Apr. 9, 2016)
• Don Willett (Dec. 18, 2016)
• Yale Law Journal (Apr. 1, 2016)

Recommended by our respectable authorities — Femi Cadmus, Lee Epstein, Cedric Merlin Powell, and Susan Phillips Read.

Yeah, that’s me, sandwiched between Bryan Garner and Harvard Law Review. You know, where I can usually be found. And that’s when the complaining started.

First, it was:

I can’t help noticing the predominance of men on this list. Not a good look @GB2d. #ladylawyerdiaries

Followed by:

Gah too bad there are no exemplary #ladylawyers on Twitter. Maybe someday we can rise to the cleverness level of our male counterparts.

The response was, unsurprisingly, a bit more thoughtful than the vagina-counting.

Last year did you nominate exemplary tweets/lrevs (or anything else) written by women? Please do this year! Rules

Or to be more pointed, if you didn’t nominate anyone, don’t gripe about who was honored.* This suggestion was taken to heart.

I’ll try to crank up my ladybrain next year and hopefully be recognized. 😔

A potential honoree twit?

Thank you, Green Bag, for including me in your list of honorees, if only for a twit. And it’s a shame to see everything flushed down the social justice toilet. You handled it graciously.

*There was another twit adding that not only did the Green Bag include an insufficient number of women honorees, but it included a horrifying misogynist bully. I can’t find that twit any longer, or I might include it, but can anyone guess who that disgusting sexist might be?

37 thoughts on “Short Take: Green Bag Follies

    1. SHG Post author

      I would prefer to think of it as a grown up who doesn’t mind foolish children screamimg “nyah, nyah, nyah” at him, and the children just can’t understand why I won’t succumb to their cries.

  1. Richard Kopf


    Should anyone like to dive down the rabbit hole to which you allude, I suggest starting here:

    “I’m actually less dismayed by the # of women than I am that you made a misogynistic bully an “exemplary” writer (Scott Greenfield).” 9:25 AM – 15 Oct 2017 Jaime Santos‏

    All the best.


      1. Richard Kopf


        Perhaps I should write a post listing the “top ten” reasons why a male must be a misogynistic bully in order to be an exemplary writer. All the best.


        1. SHG Post author

          I suspect they children would be no more pleased than your post suggesting their duty to the client comes before happy hour.

      2. B. McLeod

        It’s the kind of dreck you have to expect from people like “Jaime” (an obviously shameless appropriator of Scottish culture).

  2. Scott Jacobs

    I can’t find that twit any longer, or might include it, but can anyone guess who that disgusting sexist might be?

    I don’t understand why someone would accuse Don Willett of being a misogynist

  3. Casual Lurker

    I personally can’t stand Twitter. It’s mostly blathering idiots yelling at each other. No one really listens to what anyone else is saying, and everything is reinterpreted to provide a foil to the counter-party’s preferred narrative. (For many SJW threads I often get these mental images of some old Abbott and Costello routines, like “Who’s on first”).

    Unless you’re using it for marketing purposes (or, in your case, providing fodder for your blawg), I would find it difficult to justify a complete waste of otherwise potentially billable hours.

    I fully realize you enjoy trolling the SJWs, and it can be fun to watch their heads almost explode. But still… a wasteland for extremely limited consumption. (Although, I do occasionally wish there was an insertable, animated icon of someone ranting, with smoke coming out of their ears. ;-))

    Nonetheless, congrats on your selection!

    1. SHG Post author

      Thank you for sharing you feelings about twitter, as everyone really wanted to know. You are special.

      And I don’t troll anyone, which would be fine if I did, but you’ve got it ass backwards.

            1. Jim Tyre

              My twitter avi should satisfy your curiosity. [Ed. Note: One toke over the line, Sweet Jesus, one toke over the line.]

          1. B. McLeod

            Grace Hopper unaccountably concluded “a ship in a harbor is safe.”

            U.S.S. Arizona, U.S.S. California, U.S.S. Maryland, U.S.S. Nevada, U.S.S. Tennessee, U.S.S. Utah and U.S.S. West Virginia beg to differ. A ship in a harbor is safe if the harbor is safe.

  4. Turk

    What a second. The Harvard Law Review, which you are next to on the list, is male? Do its members not count as “ladylawyers” because they haven’t graduated yet?

    FWIW, HLR has 24 women and 22 men this year.

    1. SHG Post author

      Privileged white male math. I’m literally shaking.

      Does any of this make sense? Does any of this matter? We, my old friend, are now the bad dudes because we’re not the woke dudes. We don’t get an opinion. We get to shut up, listen and nod our bobble heads as good allies should.

      1. that david from Oz

        If you ever get around to merchandising, go with the bobble head doll. You could do a series of twits a la “elf on the shelf” . . .

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