57 thoughts on “10,000

  1. Sgt. Schultz

    Why you do this is beyond me, and as we’ve discussed, makes no sense at all. Readers see you as a fixture, like you owe them free posts, and damn good ones, and ones they agree with, every day. Or else. Time for me to hit the tip jar again, and I apologize for all the grief I cause you.

  2. Skink

    SHG–I know how you’re feeling. You think the point isn’t being understood by some folks laying-over in this here Hotel. You hate sweeping the floors in the lobby and sponging the vomit in the bathroom. Then there’s all the bulbs that need changing. Not all innkeepers sweep so much as you; fact is there’s few. Others, most others, don’t mind dim or dark, but this here Hotel is about the brightest place around. As for the vomit, well, stop selling tequila in the lounge.

    You ponder on the dopiness you encounter from some guests and wonder whether the Hotel does any good. You think too many good customers are going to that new resort up the street. They ain’t, but you don’t know that because all you hear from some is on tripadvisor and other such shit. But ponder this: how many stay a night and say nothing but remember forever what they heard?

    Don’t give in to the bastards. Keep sweeping the floors and changing the bulbs. If you don’t, who will?

  3. PJ

    Hey, it’s your house and your living room (as you’ve reminded us time and time again). I’m just a guest here.

    But I hope you keep going. You’re making the world smarter, even (so of) us non-lawyers.

  4. Mark Christman

    Can’t answer that for you. For me, however… reading your blog posts has become a morning touchstone. I regularly learn something new, get a different perspective on a topic, or even become aware of a topic outside of my normal sphere. For that, I am grateful. Thank you.

    And I echo PJ’s comment.

  5. Richard Kopf


    Knowing your love of all things French, consider what Jean-Paul Sartre once said: “For an occurrence to become an adventure, it is necessary and sufficient for one to recount it.”

    In your case, you seek intellectual adventure. Surely there are other ways, but Simple Justice is a fine way to adhere to Sartre’s dictum that one must recount the adventure to make it worthwhile. I know that you have changed my life, and I suspect you have changed many others, by dragging us along with you on your adventure.

    Like Sartre said, “Words are loaded pistols.” Keep firing.

    All the best.


    PS. Because I tried, I know the effort it takes to do what you do every day. What you have done astounds me. Truly it does.

    [Ed. Note: Cogito ergo blog?]

    1. Richard Kopf

      SHG, regarding the editor’s note,

      Exactly. But, as you know, It’s also a curse that you live with daily. Sorry, my friend.

      All the best.


    1. Skink

      Beth, I understand, we all do–Monday mornings are tough. But the Innkeeper wonders whether continuing is worth the shit that goes along with it. This happens from time-to-time. If this here Hotel is to continue, we need your help, so could you throw together a few verbs and adjectives for the cause?

  6. wilbur

    Has it been worth it? Is it still worth it?

    Only you can answer that question, because you’re the one producing the content, except for the occasional guest post.

    It’s certainly worth it to me, if that helps you answer the questions.

  7. Sol Wisenberg

    That’s about 2000 more columns than Royko wrote and you are his legitimate heir. So, it’s worth it to me and I imagine it is worth it to most of the people who visit these pages. On this momentous occasion, thinking about your prodigious, high-end (day in-day out) contributions to our national discourse, I am reminded of Albert Jay Nock’s 1937 essay entitled Isaiah’s Job.

    “Everyone with a message these days is like my venerable European friend, eager to take it to the masses. His first, last and only thought is of mass-acceptance and mass-approval…”

    “The main trouble with this is its reaction upon the mission itself. It necessitates an opportunistic sophistication of one’s doctrine which profoundly alters its character and reduces it to a mere placebo….”

    “Isaiah, on the other hand, worked under no such disabilities. He preached to the masses only in the sense that he preached publicly. Anyone who liked might listen; anyone who liked might pass by. He…made no specific appeal to them, did not accommodate his message to their measure in any way, and did not care two straws whether they heeded it or not.”

    You may not be a prophet, you may give two straws, and you are funnier than Nock and Isaiah. But I appreciate your refusal to accommodate your message to anyone.

    You didn’t ask for a Tummy Rub, but there it is.

  8. Turk

    Well, I’ve probably read about 80% of them (sorry for not getting to the rest), and I’d say I’m wiser for it.

    That may not have been your motive, of course, but it’s surely the prism through which I read.

  9. Mark

    Scott, reading your blog has also become a part of my regular morning routine. What I do for a living is in no way connected to the law profession, but blogs such as yours help me to stay informed about the world around me. You cut through the shit that is found on so many other places on the net. I’m grateful for blogs such as this and appreciate the time you put into it. Thanks again…

  10. Jeffrey Gamso

    Worth it to whom?

    Your readers? Yep. (Except for the other ones, and fuck ’em.)

    The folks who comment regularly? Obviously. (Except the assholes – though not all of them – and fuck them, too.)

    You? I’d bet the answer is yes, but only you can judge.

    Gamso (who hasn’t blogged in months but keeps thinking he’ll get back to it one of these days.)

  11. Keeping It To Myself This Time

    Today seems like a good day to take a trip down memory lane. Remember when Norm claimed he got you started on blogging, and then you called bullshit, that you didn’t even know him when you started and he deleted it?

    What people here don’t know is how many of us you mentored along the way, fed us work, helped us through tough cases, rubbed our tummies when we felt like the incompetent little shits we were. You always answered the phone when we needed you. If it wasn’t for you, some of us wouldn’t be lawyers. Maybe some of us wouldn’t be around at all (and you know what I’m talking about). Thank you.

  12. Patrick Maupin

    All things must end. The ending of the good things invariably makes us sad, and we always attempt to qualify the sadness to explain why this particular ending is worse than most. It could be “Scott quit writing at his peak. Who knows how many excellent columns we missed?” or “Scott’s early columns were great, but his cognitive decline and un-wokefulness became noticeable several decades ago.”

    Both sentiments (and more) will be expressed when you quit, depending on the reader. Which is, of course, one reason why you can’t depend on the readers.

    Anything good and rewarding that you do will attract haters and ignorant, obsequious followers. Lots of chaff, but you’ve been doing this well enough and long enough to collect a lot of wheat as well. It may be worthwhile to occasionally poll the proletariat to determine if the criticisms you encounter are the ones you expect to see based on your message and your own perception of the proletariat, or if there are valid criticisms you have missed, but to solely dwell on how unfixably ignorant and mendacious some people are will be a long, sure path to madness.

    I will echo the selfish sentiments of some of the others here: it’s good for me, and what the hell are you thinking, pondering philosophy on a Monday morning, anyway? Don’t make any rash decision before Wednesday at the earliest.

    As a sort of off-topic aside, for many firms (including, perhaps, the bulk of law firms), the “blog” may have merely been a tool to remind the authors that they needed to write some basic verbiage about their business and practice areas. Once that was done, and they had a reasonable collection of relevant articles, what’s the point of further blogging, especially if there is a chance of inadvertently writing something contentious that might scare off business?

  13. AH

    I don’t always agree with you but I can always count on you to have a principled view. You always make me think, and by extension the others around me think when I raise your points with them. With the way things are going these days, that makes it very worth it for me, but I have the easy part, I just get to read. The important thing is that I hope it’s worth it enough for you so that you keep going for another 10,000.

    Thank you.

  14. JMK

    Ignorant layman here. Thanks for helping to make me less ignorant by doing what you do, and congrats on the huge number of articles.

  15. MonitorsMost

    It’s the best place in the legal world to come; poop on the carpet; wag your tail excitedly at the owner like you did something good; get your nose rubbed in it; and then express shock and dismay that the owner didn’t appreciate the poop. Then maybe try again in a couple weeks.

    Thanks Scott

  16. JAV

    Writers gotta write, yes? Until I start seeing CDL pot-boiler fiction with SHG as the author, I hope SJ will carry on a long a bit longer.

    As a layman, SJ has never let me down. I may not understand everything, but that’s no one’s fault but my own; when the interest is there, I make the time and do my homework. It’s not everyday any blog is good for the brain.

    Today is a good day to see if I can wrestle PayPal into upgrading my donation. I’m pretty sure I can go somewhere higher than bum wine money.

    1. Guitardave

      Thank you, for the coffee-sinus cleanse this morning. LO-‘effin-L!…that was right up there with the “if a bear shits…” comment you made the other day.

  17. joe b

    Congratulations and thank you for this prodigious achievement and the profound generosity it represents. (And generous it is! Your recent column on charity reminded me of the Maimonides hierarchy which places aiding self-sufficiency at the top. To the extent that your writing helps us readers formulate our own thoughts, you have been the most generous teacher. The amusement and information is icing.)

    Many years ago, when I was a intern on the transplantation service at Penn, the NY Times had an article feting a famous transplant surgeon who had just published his 1,000th scholarly paper. One of the staff surgeons here remarked “Heck, I have even’t READ 1000 papers” (This staff surgeon was Don Dafoe, who not only looked like his brother Willem but had the same laconic delivery, so you can imagine how this sounded.) I will borrow Dr. Dafoe’s formulation: you have written more good stuff than most everybody except your long-term fans have even read. I am grateful to you, and to the muse that goads you to “to put real ideas on the table, … deal with antagonism from the offended”

  18. Bruce Woodrow


    As a lawyer in Canada, a lot of your posts were of general rather than specific interest. But you, along with @PopeHat and @Greg_Doucette, have made me a smarter, more knowledgeable person about a lot of issues that matter.

    Thank you.

  19. John Barleycorn

    1903 Orville and Wilbur get off the ground at Kitty Hawk.

    1952 Yugoslavia tells the Vatican to fuck off.

    1989 The Simpsons debuts on the TeeeVeee

    2018 SJ Posts up number 10,000.

    It all makes perfect sense now

    Thank You.

  20. Brady Curry

    Yes and Yes. Thank you SHG.

    10,000 posts, wow! If I had read them all maybe I wouldn’t be nearly as stupid as I presently am.

  21. Jake

    Since you asked, the super-bowl of federal law is dominating the headlines and you’re over here interpreting the relaying campus sex life 10x more than you shed any light on how long Donald Trump is going to spend in jail. So if you could spend a little more time on the legal event of the century and less time on title 9 wonk stuff I’d like it.

    In short: Be more like Ken!

    1. Skink

      Jake, by the numbers:

      1. You’re a dope. Everyone here knows you’re a dope. Everyone, that is, but you. It takes a special kind of dopiness to not know you’re a dope, especially after it has been repeatedly explained. Why do you keep putting your head in the grinder?

      2. The “super-bowl of federal law?” “Legal event of the century?” Hardly, but if you want that stuff, there are plenty of sources spouting what they don’t know. Join them; bathe in their hyperbole; share your vast legal knowledge with them. You’ll be a perfect fit!

      3. Title IX (nope, not 9) is very unimportant, so you might be right. Then again, you’re gonna have a hard time convincing lawyers that litigate The Constitution of the United States every day–like me and others in this here Hotel–or the judges that decide those issues every day, that stuff like the erosion of due process is unimportant compared to what happens with a President, but your considerable legal knowledge might win them over. Or not. I’m guessing not.

      4. What you’d like is very important. Issues should be created to fit your bent. Maybe tomorrow, SHG can write about how the Americans With Disabilities Act supports the rights of dopes to be dopey. Wouldn’t that be great, Jake?

      5. Jake, I’m concerned you might have a condition. You come to a place visited by people with specialized knowledge, so specialized that they talk in shorthand to each other. They do that because they all have the same training and perform the same stuff: law. Long explanations of stuff aren’t necessary because it’s basic to what we know. You don’t know law, not even a little, and it’s very obvious. You’re kinda like a little dog that wanders the Hotel lobby, pissing on the carpet. Do you have flashbacks to a previous life where you were a little dog? You know that can’t be, right, Jake?

      6. You’re a dope. Twitter awaits your eloquence. We will miss you because you’re a really funny person, in a clinical way.

      1. Jake

        Ah, Skink. Happy Holidays, you sweet stranger on the internet! So sorry my comments didn’t meet your expectations for another year.

  22. Nigel Declan

    Absolutely. I don’t know how many people on the internet are less stupid because of your writing, but I am proud to count myself among them.

    Congratulations, SHG!

  23. freedomfan

    Congratulations on 10,000 posts. You pose a question where the only answer that matters may be your own. I can say that I read what you write and I am glad you write it.

    I learn something here nearly every day and almost leave thinking about it. Sometimes, thinking about a legal case, as discussed by someone who knows the law, rather than just by someone who knows that he’s outraged. Often, thinking over how little I understand about an topic that previously seemed fairly clear. But, thinking about what you’ve written, one way or another. And never thinking, “that’s the opposite principle he applied when discussing how the other side’s ox was being gored.” Those are pretty rare things.

    So, thank you. SJ is worth it to me to read. I sure hope it is worth it to you to write.

  24. Rojas

    Another, a little less ignorant layman shaking it over here.
    I think it was something you had written about the Willingham case that first led me to SJ. Ignorant, outraged and ashamed, all I knew for sure is I didn’t sign on for that. I had also been following the debate and searching the archives on one of the forensic “fire scientist” forums trying to wrap my head around it. It seemed pretty clear to me that there were people of good will who were aghast at the state of their so called profession. If they saw it could the judges not see it.

    Well there was this light on at SJ and people were talking about it. Those people were intimately familiar with the issues. Judges, defense attorneys, prosecutors and forensic scientists each with their unique point of view. I’ve been hooked ever since.

    Some folks take it personally, what the state does in our name. You’ve helped make us a little less ignorant so we can direct our attention to effective reform. Texas plods along tepidly but the arc of the pendulum is not sure.

    I think what you have done with SJ is of incredible value. I’d also thank the other defense attorneys, judges and even errant prosecutors who contribute for offering this little window into your world. It’s where the steel is forged.

  25. szr

    Yes, your blog has been and continues to be worth it.

    Your recent post titled “Not Worth Killing” is a perfect example of the worthy “it” you create. You highlight a problem and refuse to accept an easy solution, even (especially?) when you have no specific solution of your own to peddle. Reading your analysis encourages me to reflect on my own thoughts and intellectual errors.

    After reading the comments from other members of your audience, I know I’m not alone in feeling that it has been, and continues to be, worth it.

  26. Terry

    Delurking to say Congratulations!

    Presumably I’m not your typical audience member (Aussie physicist living mainly in london) but somehow I bumbled through the blogiverse from Posner to Kopf to you, and the final destination was worth the meander through those small towns. I appreciate and greatly respect your advocation of unequivocal commitment to your clients and I have learned so much from you re being wary of interactions with law enforcement. I have also learned through your many “thought experiments” and analyses of alternatives that my personal skepticism regarding the law as an institution will not survive some simple pragmatic tests. So thank you and hope to see you hit 20000.

  27. RB

    For your audience: yes and yes. For you, I sure hope so.

    While I’ve only read a fraction of the other 9999 posts, I’m significantly less stupid for having done so.
    Whatever an anti-Billy Madison award looks like, you deserve one.

  28. Casual Lurker

    This is one of those threads where I feel I should say something, but can only reiterate much of the positive sentiment that has already been expressed. If this were a poll, my selfish answer is “keep it up”. SJ singularly raises the average IQ of the Blogosphere.

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