I’m continuing my search for a half-way decent Chicago-themed criminal defense blog. The standard isn’t that high. I’m not looking for a national-quality crimlaw blogger with a huge following and tons of great articles. You just have to blog criminal defense better than me, and I’m not a lawyer.
In a comment to my previous post, Jamie pointed out that Pete Guither of Drug WarRant covers criminal issues even more than I do. Pete’s actually down in Normal, Illinois, but I suppose 120 miles doesn’t seem very far to a Texan like Jamie. And Pete does cover some Chicago issues. Drug WarRant is also a terrific blog. If you even suspect that the War on Drugs might not be a good social policy, check it out.
Mark Bennett points out the Chicago Criminal Defense Attorneys blog, where blogger James Dimeas publishes a summary of a news story every few days. He expresses few opinions and gets few comments, but it is a blog of sorts.
Then there’s the confusing case of Kent Dean. When I first saw a reference to this blog, I thought he was the Kent Dean, as in the Dean of the Chicago-Kent College of Law. But that’s not the really confusing part. His “Blog” isn’t a blog at all.
Actually, his blog page has two parts. The bottom looks like a feed of recent case summaries pulled from FindLaw. This is clearly search engine fodder.
But the top of the “blog” page includes seven pretty decent “posts.” I used quotes because they aren’t real posts. They have no timestamps, no signature lines, no permalinks, no feeds, and no place for comments. There’s no way to join the conversation. Without permalinks, I can’t even link to one of the posts. In fact, I don’t think this “blog” was produced by any kind of blogging software at all. This part is just static text.
What else? The Expired Meter isn’t a criminal defense blog, but it does cover the most common of all criminal legal problems: Parking Tickets. Warning! Chicago city stickers must be attached today!
Thomas C. Brandstrader at Chicago Criminal Defense has a bloggy looking site, with three posts from January. Two of them are okay.
But wait! What’s this? Kent Dean has another blog. It’s not the one linked to from the menu on his business site, but a real WordPress blog. He’s got some tacky links to his business site, linking terms like “Chicago” and “criminal defense” to try to gain some search engine juice, but his posts seem like the real thing. Check this out:
While the underground economy in general grows in any society during times of economic stress, I’m not so sure that directly translates into more business for me. I’m not alone in the belief that regular people don’t just wake up one day and embark on a life of crime due to new financial difficulties. I think it’s more likely that most thieves (which is who we are talking about) go about it as a vocation. In other words, theft is their job, they have been doing it for years regardless of their current financial situation or other employment. What seems more likely, and some law enforcement friends of mine have suggested, is that regular people under financial strain are now more likely to purchase goods of questionable origin. The result being that there is more demand for hot goods and the professional thieves, burglars, pilferers and shoplifters just increase their activity in response. I think it’s more appropriate to consider the recent parallel increase in parking and ordinance enforcement by municipalities throughout Cook County as a parallel development.
That’s part of a perfectly good blog post. Maybe he should keep it up. Even the video ad on his business page doesn’t entirely disqualify him. I can’t tell if he actually knows what he’s writing about—maybe someone else can check him out (hint)—but I’ll keep an eye on this one.
Before I go, here are a couple of strange things I found along the way.
Check out Pissetzky & Berliner’s techno video ad for their criminal defense work. Once you’ve seen the first 10 seconds, you’ve seen it all.
Also be sure to check out the FAQ page for Jerald Novak & Associates, which still warns you that refusing a breath test could lead to your Illinois license being suspended by the Department of Motor Vehicles, even though Illinois doesn’t have a Department of Motor Vehicles. (That would be the Driver’s Services Department.) For all I know, Jerald Novak is a great lawyer, but he obviously hasn’t read his own website. When you outsource your marketing, you outsource your legal knowledge to a website designer.