The 13th Canadian Law Blog Awards were announced this past Monday. If you haven’t done so already, please head on over to the Clawbies website to see our full list of winners.
I can tell you that this year’s Fodden Award for the “Best Canadian Law Blog” went to Michael Spratt and Emilie Taman’s groundbreaking podcast The Docket; and, that the three best new blogs were Moly Law, Juriblogue, and Crossroads Family Law; and, the best Law Library Blog went to a former Slaw writer, David Whelan (O’Faolain).
[A side note for the Slaw community: you’ll want to know that David is currently faced with an incredible challenge as his brother is detained in Russia accused of spying. On behalf of David’s friends and colleagues here at Slaw, we extend our best wishes for a favourable outcome to David and his family.]
Lastly on the Clawbies front, we took Sarah Sutherland up on her suggestion to add an award for a blogger TRAPPED inside of a community blog. Well, not trapped; but there are a number of incredible writers here at Slaw and other group blogs around the country that have been overlooked by the Clawbies for some time. It didn’t take us long to come up with our winner: Omar Ha-Redeye.
You can read the awards post for our qualitative reasoning, but beyond that, I’d like to share a short story about Omar.
Years ago, before he was kicking out 50+ blog posts every year here at Slaw, Omar was creating and building one of Canada’s first law student blogs — which is still in operation — Law is Cool. As usual, Omar was writing up a storm. I’m reasonably sure that Law is Cool was out-pacing us over at Slaw; and if not, they were getting close to it. So when he graduated I remember starting a brief twitter exchange trying to gauge Omar’s interest in coming over to the dark side (Slaw).
His response was, as I recall, that coming to Slaw would be a reasonable progression to his writing and that he liked the idea; so I immediately called Simon. No emails, IMs or texts — only an old-school copper-line phone call would do. “Simon, I need to ask a favour. I have a writer I want us to add to Slaw.” I told him the name and he paused. He asked me if I was sure. (In retrospect, Simon later told me he wasn’t sure because Law is Cool was so different from Slaw.) I told him I was, and that Omar was exactly the type of writer that Slaw needed to get to the next level. After some discussion, Simon agreed and said that he would reach out to Omar and get it setup.
Now here we are. A decade later. Slaw continues to build its stable of great writers, but even in that light, Omar continues to stand out. Not everyone agrees with him, nor is that a requirement. Omar writes substantive pieces almost every week and regularly backs up his thoughts with a citation. A good blogger also mixes in some first-person narrative and reasoned opinion. He does that in spades. Got a rebuttal? Omar engages in debate via the comments here at Slaw, or on Twitter. We could have given him a Clawbie purely on his original ideas and publishing volume. Omar is so much more than that. We’re lucky to have him.
Let me finish by saying a hearty congratulations to all of the 2018 Clawbie winners, and to wish all of our Slaw writers a great blogging year in 2019!