It has been one year since the creation of this blog. Hundreds of posts and you do not want to know how much time later, it is now one year old. The fact there was no decline in my office productivity is a sorry testament to much evening and weekend work.
Many purposes have been served, not the least of which was acquiring some badly needed rudimentary tech skills. It is somewhat painful to go back and read the posts from the first several weeks. I don't plan to delete them because someone may gain confidence that the first small steps do not have to be perfect. Nor could I delete the very first comment to a very early post: YAY for meghan!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! hehe i am proud of u mommy.
One of the reasons I created this blog was to archive and easily access information that may be useful at some later time. You read an article, need it later, but where is it? Now we have archived categories in which to find it. Blog technology has had a significant impact on the ability to deliver family law cases and news with lightning speed. All published family law cases in Kentucky for the last two years have been posted, digested, archived, and linked to the online decisions. Practicing attorneys are reading and using it, and their clients are reaping the benefits. Financial professionals and mediators whose work overlaps that of attorneys in helping divorcing couples also now have an easy way to stay up to date, the serendipitous consequence of plowing into an area without a clue where it would lead.
While this blog is owned by Kentucky Divorce Consulting, LLC, the only member is yours truly. Although this is my 25th year of family law practice, this blog has taught me more in the past 365 days than I have learned during the last 10 years. I have long been a staunch believer in the adage that you learn best what you teach. After 545 posts since the beginning of this site, I can now say that what I learned teaching seminars is peanuts compared to what I have learned being accountable to the world. This was an entirely unexpected benefit of hosting this site.
An editorial last Saturday in The Courier-Journal began, No one knows better than newspaper editors the risk of putting things in writing. There's always a reader who has saved something we wish had been thrown away. A few gaffes have been made here with surely more to follow. The best I can promise is that I will be quick to correct. To not have forged ahead notwithstanding the risks would have been a big loss.
The rewards have been rich, the best being many new friendships. I can't say that I have ever before become friends with a person whom I had not met face-to-face. Early on I gathered together the Kentucky lawyers who blog, because I needed to pick some brains to minimize the time consuming proverbial reinvention of the wheel and I really wanted to put a face behind their blogs. My teenage daughter who posted that first comment has been warned of making internet acquaintances, and was later aghast that I had invited perfect strangers to our home for dinner. When introduced to the one who had emailed me a Google satellite map, she said "So, you're the stalker!" We have come a long way since then and now some of those perfect strangers, including Michael Stevens (Kentucky Law Blog), and Ben Cowgill (Ben Cowgill's Legal Ethics Newsletter), and others I have met along the way, including Stan Billingsly (LawReader) are friends as well as mutual and steadfast sounding boards. There are many new legal blogs in Kentucky and if I haven't called you to meet yet, not to worry (nor to breathe a sigh of relief!); we all will get together again. Let's pencil in May 10, 6pm and see if that will work.
Plans are in the works to cure getting to know some of the out-of-towners soon. This summer I plan to land on the doorsteps of Marcia Oddi (Indiana Law Blog), Jeanne Hannah (Updates In Michigan Family Law) and Victoria Pynchon (Settle It Now Negotiation Blog). Beware in year two. I will be taking my inhospitable child on college campus visits, so if you are near a university you may well end up on my "will call upon" list.
I must say that I appreciate the tolerance of the Kentucky Bar Association for not giving us the fits that lawyers in some other states face. I know they are watching our conduct carefully and are no doubt scared out of their wits worrying where this will all lead. I hope all lawyers blogging will keep the ethical requirements of our profession in the forefront of each judgment call before hitting the "publish" button. The lines are often blurry. I believe the test will be whether we do good or we do harm. The best blogs are often controversial, but surely we can discuss controversies and learn from each other for the benefit of the law. So far, so good. Thanks for permitting us to give this medium a try.
Thanks to all who are reading Divorce Law Journal, thanks to those who have shared thoughts, comments and ideas, and thanks for the friendship and support of all the online community who have helped this project blossom, morph, grow and improve. I cannot name everyone in a single post who has helped me, but the mediation community, including Geoff Sharp (Mediator blah...blah...) from New Zealand whom I find the best wit on the web, Diane Levin (Online Guide To Mediation) from the Boston area and known as the mediation matriarch, and Victoria Pynchon (Settle It Now Negotiation Blog) from Beverly Hills, L.A. (a great writer, thinker, and fabulous at finding photos and graphics) has been especially inspiring. I am so glad to know you, and we haven't even spoken by phone. Michelle Eisenmenger Mapes in my office digested most of the 2005 cases and continues to brief some family law cases for Kentucky Cases. Sarah Jost Nieslen (she will be added to our firm website when we update it next month but we introduced her here) digested the rest of the 2005 cases and all of 2006, and I could not have posted the amount of content without their help. Sandra G. Ragland has helped edit when I have asked, and I can assure you if I had asked her more often, this blog would be a breathtakingly beautiful work of the written word. All of us have bills to pay and families to attend, so I think we have stretched admirably, all things considered. Rita Horton, my able, loyal and treasured assistant for the last 15 years has not grumbled once as I added to her burden.
The next major stretch for this blog will be hosting Blawg Review #101 (a Dalmatian theme, maybe?) on March 26, 2007. In that the word "blog" was nowhere to be found in my 2006 New Year's Resolutions, I am not about to predict what will happen beyond that.