Our First Milestone: 100 Posts

We here at Abnormal Use have officially hit our first milestone and are, as of today, 100 posts old. To commemorate the first of what we hope will be many such anniversaries to come, we pause to reflect on where we started, and what we have learned along the way.

It has been just four short months since we unveiled this products liability blog with a formal mission statement. Whereas we feel certain that blogging may come naturally to some, our first foray into the blogosphere was not without some trepidation. Naturally, we asked ourselves: Will there be sufficient source material? But we quickly learned that this was the least of our concerns. Fortunately for products liability bloggers, in the rapid, ever-changing world of litigation, there is rarely a day that passes without something newsworthy, whether it be a new court decision, an interesting verdict, a product recall (an augury of imminent litigation), or a story on a future Plaintiff’s new and “inventive” use of a product that, predictably, went awry. Needless to say, we have found plenty of cases and news items about which to post. We are also proud to have presented several original interviews with law professors in our series which we affectionately call Abnormal Interviews (more of which are to come in the future).

Branding ourselves the authors of an “unreasonably dangerous products liability blog,” we’ve also attempted to inject a bit of humor into our posts, at least every once in a while. We have, of course, enjoyed sharing our light-hearted Friday Links. We also hope that you will remember what, for us, became one of our most infamous posts. On February 3, just a few weeks into this enterprise, we posted what we fondly refer to as the the chicken sandwich post, a reflection on the Fourth Circuit’s opinion in Sutton v. Roth, L.L.C., a case that evolved out of yet another instance of a hot item becoming a dangerous instrumentality. Then, of course, we could not resist an April Fool’s Day post. In keeping with our food-related theme, we decided to reflect on whether a Snickers really satisfies (“Unsatisfying Snickers Bar Unreasonably Dangerous and Defective, Texas Court Holds“). Whereas most of us here would agree that a Snickers bar does indeed satisfy (roasted peanuts, nougat, caramel and chocolate!), gone are the days when we as attorneys would actually be surprised to see a lawsuit that would seek to challenge what has been and still is a highly successful marketing campaign for Mars, Inc. (Just check out Betty White’s appearance in Snicker’s Superbowl commercial!). Apparently, the post did actually fool a few readers, as we received a missive or two asking if the post was, in fact, reality.

We cannot observe this anniversary without pausing to thank others in the blogosphere who have both supported and inspired us. Special thanks go to James M. Beck of the Drug and Device Law Blog and Walter Olson (of both Overlawyered and Point of Law) for their support.

This is not to say that the blog is always fun and easy. This site has now become a daily part of our professional existence – yet another generator of deadlines. Sometimes, it is a joy. Other times, though, it is simply one more item to check off of an already lengthy to-do list. Mark Herrmann (former author of the Drug and Device Law blog) warns of the perils of lawyer blogging in his recent article “Memoirs of A Blogger“). We’ve taken some of these concerns to heart, but we’ve also attempted to fashion a blogging infrastructure here that avoids some of the issue Herrmann presents. (Certainly, dividing the work amongst seven attorneys makes the task a bit less daunting.). But, in any event, we have been gratified and encouraged by the feedback that we have received and the knowledge that we have acquired throughout this project.

Despite this anniversary, we are only getting started. Thanks to all of you for visiting the site, and we look forward to bringing you much more products liability commentary in the future.