Wednesday, February 05, 2014

Remembering Legal Eagle

Legal Eagle (Katy Barnett) is giving up blogging.

I made my first blog post on 19 March 2006. The following month, on 21 April, Legal Eagle made her first post on the Legal Soapbox. I cannot remember when we first came into internet contact, later in 2006 or early 2007. The blogging world was smaller and fresher then. We were both regular bloggers who wrote on related topics, so some form of mutual awareness was inevitable. The degree of interaction was not. We found that we shared interests, along with a belief in the importance of civility.

In a way, LE's blogging has reflected her own changing life experiences. In those early days, she was much concerned with the practice of law -legal and professional - and the difficulties of managing conflicting priorities and uncertainties, personal and professional. I was interested in the challenges of professional practice and had my own difficulties in managing conflicting priorities and uncertainties.

LE attracted people in part through the standard of her writing, as much through her essential kindness and decency. Looking back at her past posts and commenters' I remember those early days; the Canadien Australian or Junior Lawyers Union are examples. When I came to write my depression series, the JLU blog provided key case studies.

At the time, I was battling one of my own periodic bouts of depression. It was also a time when depression came to public prominence through, among other things, John Brogden's experiences. I had met John, and was appalled at the public attacks that led to his collapse. Then and now, depression was a special problem in professional services where pressure and isolated working are common features. Researching, I was horrified at the way that big law practices handled the problem. It was a breach of the most basic management principles.

On 8 May 2008, Legal Eagle announced ( that she was ceasing independent blogging and joining the skepticlawyer group blog. Frankly, I was horrified. I mean really horrified. There was a sense of personal loss.

I followed LE across, and there met Helen Dale, skepticlawyer herself. I came to greatly admire the clarity of her thinking. I might not agree, but I could always identify why I disagreed, Then, too, I learned an enormous amount about Roman history and law.

Legal Eagle is a Facebook friend: I have followed her evolving life, her successes and challenges, the love and support of her husband, the joy of her kids, her professional success, the health battles. Now we come to a parting of the ways.

I am going to miss you, LE. I understand, but I will miss you. You have become a significant figure in my life.      


Legal Eagle said...

Thank you so much, Jim. That is really just the most wonderful tribute a blogger could ever have.

As you hopefully know, although I have stopped frequenting most other blogs, I have not stopped frequenting yours and I will still pop by.

All the best, LE

Anonymous said...

Nice words Jim. I have much respect for you both.


Jim Belshaw said...

Thanks, LE, and kvd. The tribute was very seriously meant LE.

Rummuser said...

It would have made my job easier had there been a "like" button. A very well written farewell post Jim. My compliments.