Cruise Law News Sneaks into "12 Awesome Law Blogs Of 2014"

Carnival Cruise Miami LawyerToday I was excited to read that Cruise Law News has been picked as one of the "12 Awesome Law Blogs Of 2014" by the premier law publication Above the Law.

Admittedly, we were the twelfth and last pick, but beggars can't be choosers. Here the write up:

No attorney’s passion shows through more than that of Jim Walker. Not only is Walker an advocate for cruise passengers, but a fervent watchdog for the industry as a whole. His 2014 included, among a multitude of accomplishments, traveling to Washington, D.C., to back Senator Rockefeller’s Cruise Passenger Protection Act and forcing government officials in the Bahamas to answer to their ranking on hitting the Top 10 worst destinations. If you’re planning to take a cruise in 2015, this is a blog you cannot miss.

Here are the other selections: The Art Law ReportTrademarkologyInside PrivacyCanna Law BlogEnergy and the LawThe D & O DiaryAll About Advertising LawBeLabor The PointAuto Industry Law Blog, Retail Law Advisor, and Cady Bar the Door.

 

USA TODAY / 10 BEST Announce John Heald As Best Cruise Blogger, Cruise Law News Comes In Sixth Place

USA TODAY / 10 BEST announced the winners today in the "10Best Readers’ Choice New Media Award for Best Cruise Blogger."

An initial list of 20 cruise bloggers was selected by a panel of experts.  The experts were USA TODAY Cruise Log blogger Gene Sloan, long-time Cruise Diva Linda Coffman, Doug Parker with Cruise Radio, and Stewart Chiron a/k/a The Cruise Guy. All of these expert bloggers could have been picked as top 5 cruise bloggers themselves.

 John Heald Carnival After the initial list of 20 was selected, the "top 10" cruise bloggers were determined by popular vote. John Heald (photo right), the witty Cruise Director for Carnival, seems to have won in a land-slide. 

Our blog came in 6th place, not a bad result considering that many people consider me the "anti-cruise" blogger.  I am surprised that Cruise Law News was voted that high.

Here is the top ten list:        

  1. John Heald - John Heald's Blog
  2. Matt Hochberg - Royal Caribbean Blog
  3. Anita Dunham-Potter - Expert Cruiser
  4. Scott Sanders - Disney Cruise Line Blog
  5. Chris Gray Faust - Cruise Critic's The Lido Deck
  6. Jim Walker - Cruise Law News
  7. Fran Golden - Porthole Cruise News
  8. Chris Owen - Chris Cruises
  9. Danielle Fear - Cruise Miss
  10. Sherry Laskin - Cruise Maven

The other ten nominees included Aaron Saunders (From the Deck Chair), Anne Campbell (Ship Critic Blog), Carrie Finley-Bajak (Cruise Buzz Blog), Jason Leppert (Popular Cruising), John Honeywell (Captain Greybeard), Linda Garrison (About.com Cruises), Mike Faust (Cruise Currents Blog), Paul Motter (CruiseMates Blog), Peter Knego (Peter Knego’s Sea Treks and Peter Knego's Decked!), Ralph Grizzle (Avid Cruiser), and Steve Newman (Time Spent At Sea).

I voted for Peter Knego's blogs on Maritime Matters.

Thanks to everyone who voted for us.

Yes, it's true that our blog is often viewed as "negative."  But the voting proves that there are cruise fans out there who like to hear the "con" as well as the "pro" aspects of cruising and understand that being forewarned is being forearmed!

Thanks again and safe cruising!

 

Photo Credit: Carnival Corporation

Who's the Best Cruise Blogger?

I returned from a two week vacation last week to find that our blog was picked as one of the top 20 cruise blogs by readers of USA TODAY.

The newspaper and "10 Best" are now asking the public to pick the best blog out of this group.  At the end of the voting on July 11th, a "top 10" list will be published.

You can see the listing here.  

Best Cruise BlogI have picked my top cruise bloggers over the years and have listed the most popular cruise bloggers in terms of traffic.

The USA TODAY top 20 list includes many of the bloggers who I have picked in the past: Chris Cruise, Captain Greybeard, CruiseMates, Expert Cruiser, Peter Knego's Decked (Maritime Matters)(which is really outstanding), and Cruise Maven.

At the moment, Carnival Cruise Director John Heald is the top vote receiver. 

I was surprised that this blog made the list. The other 19 bloggers promote the cruise industry and never criticize it. Our motto, on the other hand, is "everything the cruise lines don't want you to know." 

The voting continues for the next three weeks.  You can vote once everyday.   

Vote here.

Thanks!

An Irreverent Look at the Top 10 Most Popular Law Blogs

What are the top law blogs? I suppose it depends on who you ask. Everyone has an opinion, at least lawyers who have blogs do.  

I'm listing the supposedly most popular law blogs based on supposedly objective criteria, using the Alexa ranking system which ranks blogs and websites based primarily on popularity. How many people actually click on the site, view a number of pages and actually stay for a while? 

Alexa ranks over 30,000,000 sites. Alexa assigns a numerical ranking to each website. The most popular sites have the lowest numbers. 

Google is ranked number 1, Facebook is number 2, and so forth. The highest ranked stand-alone law blog is ranked around 28,000. The lowest ranked blog is ranked over 20,000,000. If you're a law blogger and ranked under Top Law Blogs - Blah, Blah, Blah200,000, your blog is popular. 

If your ranking is over 1,000,000, sorry to tell you. No one is reading your blog. If you are in the 2,000,000 to 4,000,000 category, I suggest giving up.

If you are interested in seeing your site's ranking, go to the Alexa website and click on the "Toolbar" link at the top to download.

The top 10 blogs which I listed below are mostly ranked 100,000 or lower. They are popular and widely read. I listed their rankings as of the date of this publication. I have also mentioned whether they are advertising (desperate) or soliciting money (truly desperate). I have tried to identify the primary editor or writer.

10. SCOTUS (107,715) (advertising - Bloomberg Law) Two dozen people smarter than me writing minutia about Supreme Court decisions. Super popular when the Supremes are publishing cases.

9.  Patently O (105,835) (advertising) Law professors writing about patents. I remember why I hated law school. 

8.  China Law Blog (100,256) The blog of Seattle lawyer, Dan Harris, of the Harris Moure law firm. Why isn't it also written in Chinese?

7.  Volokh Conspiracy (92,779) (advertising) A butt-ugly site written by two dozen brainiac professors who need to get laid.  I'm not sure who reads this erudite stuff.  It recently moved to the Washington Post. 

6.  Althouse (78,079) (advertising) (solicits money) I don't get this site.  A law professor, Ann Althouse, Top Law Blogswrites and posts photos and videos.  She shares a photo of the side of her head. Random. Quirky. 

5.  Lawyerist (65,914) (heavy advertising) A nice site, mostly it seems written by Sam Glover about law practice technology, management, and marketing, also offering services to build web sites, since 2007.

4.  Food Safety News (60,812) This is one of the truly amazing law blogs by Seattle lawyer Bill Mahler who handles food poisoning cases. He is a great guy and a super lawyer. He surrounds himself with a very talented team to publish this really good stuff.

3. Cruise Law News (59,871) My blog Cruise Law News.  "Everything the Cruise Lines Don't Want You to Know" is our motto. "Why do I want to know that?" most people may be thinking.

2.  Legal Insurrection (45,434) (incredibly heavy advertising)(solicits money)(multiple writers) A law professor at Cornell oversees this gaudy conservative blog. Annoying, bizarre banner ads, like this lady-in-the-tight-dress Google ad which links to a rant against President Obama. Go figure. 

1.  Above the Law (28,096) (advertising) (multiple editors and writers) This number one law blog caters to big firm news, in-house counsel at major corporations, law school rankings and issues of largely no relevance to most lawyers' practices. Typical topics involve new partners at top 10 national firms, salaries in New York, and who'll be the next Supreme Court clerks. I suppose first year associates at Skadden Arps gossip about these important issues over their 15 minute lunches at their desks? 

A bizarre group of blogs no doubt.

Did I leave anyone out? 

 

Photo Credit Top:   lawyerfacts.biz

Cruise Law News - The Most Popular Cruise Law and Maritime Personal Injury Blog in the U.S.

According to AVVO which ranks the popularity of law blogs, Cruise Law News (CLN) is currently the 9th most popular law blog in the U.S.  You can read the list (updated daily) here.  The list does not pretend to be a compilation of the "best" blogs.  It is based primarily on the number of readers and the number of pages read for each blog, if I understand correctly how AVVO works.

Of the eight blogs ahead of CLN, four of the blogs are written by law professors (Legal Insurrection, Althouse, Law Professors Blog Network, and the Volokh Conspiracy).  Three other blogs are commercial (accepting advertising) types (Lawyernomics, Above the Law, and Lawyerist). There is only one blog ahead of us which is written by a lawyer who actually practices law full time, China Blog,Cruise Law News Blog - Jim Walker - Miami Lawyer which is authored by Seattle attorney Dan Harris.  

That makes our blog the most widely read blog about our practice areas - cruise law and maritime personal injury law - in the U.S. Around 300,000 pages of CLN are read a month. We expect at the end of this year there to be well over 3,000,000 pages of CLN read just this year alone. 

Our Cruise Law News facebook page is the most popular facebook page for a lawyer and our Twitter feed is also popular. 

Being a widely read blog is admittedly a goal of CLN. The purpose of our blog is to educate the public about "everything cruise lines don't want you to know." There are a lot of problems, like sexual assault of women, molestation of children, and abuse of crew members, that cruise lines try and keep secret. 

Thanks for reading our blog, and thanks for sending us tips about things that happen on cruise ships which the Carnivals and Royal Caribbeans prefer the public not to know.

 

If you want to track the popularity of websites and blogs, download the Alexa toolbar.  Its simple and takes less than 30 seconds.

Walker & O'Neill Featured in "Top Verdicts and Settlements" for $1,250,000 Verdict for Injured Crewmember Against Royal Caribbean

The Daily Business Review released "Top Verdicts & Settlements" for last year.  You can click on the digital version here.

We obtained the highest award in an admiralty / maritime case in Florida in 2011.  The case involved an injured crew member from Royal Caribbean's Jewel of the Seas who the cruise line sent back to Serbia and then denied her appropriate medical care and treatment.

We flew our client to Miami and arranged for her to see a board certified orthopedic surgeon who recommended surgery.  Royal Caribbean sent her to a local "litigation doctor" who never testifies that injured crewmembers need surgery.

The three arbitrators ruled that the cruise line failed to provide our client with a safe place to work and was 100% negligent for causing her accident.

The arbitrators also found that Royal Caribbean refused to provide prompt and adequate medical treatment to its injured cruise employee, and that its failure to authorize the necessary surgery "lacked any reasonable defense."

The arbitrators awarded our client $1,250,000, the highest amount in a crewmember case last year and the most ever in a cruise arbitration matter.      


Cruise Law News' Best Blogs of 2010

As year 2010 comes to a close, it's time to look back at some of the highlights of Cruise Law News (CLN).  

CLN reached the top 10 most popular law blogs, placing us above such heavyweight blogs as the China Law BlogSimple Justice, Jonathan Turley and Overlawyered.     

CLN also became a "top cruise vacation influencer," which consists of cruise lines, travel agents, and cruise fans who dominate social media affecting the cruise industry.  I'm sure having a Royal Caribbean - Adam Goldstein - Sex and Booze Sells Cruisesmaritime personal injury lawyer in the top 10 drives the cruise industry bonkers.

Here are some of my favorite blog posts for the past year: 

Most popular article: The Splendor Cruise Ship Fire - Three Reasons Why You Will Lose If You Sue Carnival  The blog was picked up by the Wall Street Journal, Fox News, the ABA Journal, South Business Law Journal, Gadling, Slate, the U.K.'s Guardian and others.  Everyone loves it when a personal injury lawyer tells the public not to sue following a cruise disaster . . .    

Most ironic articles:  Former Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship Captain Dies of Legionnaire's Disease After Sailing on Liberty of the Seas and Cruise Passengers Attacked & Robbed in Antigua While Cruise and Tourism Officials Meet

Best article with the word "sex" in the title: Marketing "Sex at Sea" on Cruise Ships (includes my favorite photo of a cruise line executive, in bed with booze surrounded by women with the Royal Caribbean logo across their bikini tops??)

Most comments to an article:  Crew Member Overboard from Royal Caribbean's Explorer of the Seas 

Second most comments to an article:  Another Overboard From A Royal Caribbean Cruise Ship? - Oasis of the Seas  

Most positive reaction to an article:  Royal Caribbean "Returns" to its Trademarked, Private Fantasy Island of Labadee® - While Haiti Suffers

Most negative reaction to an article:  Royal Caribbean "Returns" to its Trademarked, Private Fantasy Island of Labadee® - While Haiti Suffers

Splendor - carnival Cruise Fire Happiest article:  Three Happy Cruise Stories - Salvation, Generosity & Rebirth

Most inspiring article:  The Compelling Story of Jamie Barnett - Living Through the Loss

Saddest article:  More Caribbean Crime - Carnival Passenger Killed In St. Thomas

Most disturbing article: Neither Dead Nor Alive - The Faliva Family Remains In Limbo

Most bitter article: What Does BP, Al Qaeda and a Cruise Line Have In Common?  Unfortunately you have to lose a loved one before you can figure the answer out.

Scariest articles:  Passenger Indicted for Sexual Abuse of 13 Year Old Girl on Disney Wonder Cruise ShipCarnival Cruise Ship Bartender Arrested On Charges Of Raping 14 Year Old Passenger and Most Wanted Rape Suspect Arrested On Carnival Cruise Ship - Worked As Manager Of Onboard Hair Salon

Best social media articles: The Cruise Industry's Reputation - A Sinking Image and Travel Writers and the Ethics of Reporting Cruise News

Best series of articles:  Top 10 Reasons Not To Cruise  

Clelia II - Video - StormBest article the cruise lines don't want you to read:  "Cruise Ship Sickness" - Is Norovirus In The Food and Water? 

Most terrifying cruise video (over 296,000 views and counting!): The Clelia II Skirts Disaster Again in Antarctica

Best sports article:  Oysters, Dixie Beer & My New Orleans Saints

Best personal article:  Switching Sides And Finding Your Soul

Best article not read by the cruise industry: Ten Years of Cruise Ship Fires - Has the Cruise Industry Learned Anything? 

Thanks to our readers for a great 2010!   Do you have an idea for blog articles for 2011?  Leave us a comment below. 

 

Bottom photo credit: Clelia II   Fiona Stewart/Garett McIntosh (via jonbowermaster.com)

Cruise Law News Now Top Ten Law Blog

For the past six months, I have been tracking the popularity of my blog Cruise Law News (CLN) on Avvo / Alexa Top Legal Blogs.  When I first started looking at the rankings, CLN was the 55th most popular law blog. Today, CLN cracked Avvo's list of the top ten (10) most popular law blogs. 

I started blogging in mid-September last year after joining the LexBlog family.  LexBlog's CEO and blog guru Kevin O'Keefe counseled me not to be narcissist and get caught up in popularity contests like this.  Cruise Law - Law - Miami - LA - Seattle

Instead, O'Keefe told me that the mark of an effective blog is not rankings, but the influence the blog has on key players in your area of the law - like the media, top bloggers, and strategic decision makers. 

In the last ten days, CLN has been cited in the national and international media, both old school media and hip bloggers, like the LA Times, the U.K's MirrorWall Street Journal Blog, National Public Radio (NPR), USA Today, Gadling, FOX Business, Slate Magazine, the Courier Post, South Florida Business Journal, and the ABA Journal.  

O'Keefe was right of course about the importance of being a connected influencer, but I can't help being narcissist enough to enjoy being on someone's top 10 list.

 

If you like this, read about Cruise Law News and LexBlog: CruiseLaw Meets LexBlog

Cruise Law News Enters Top 20 of Popular Law Blogs

Several months ago, I predicted that Cruise Law News (CLN) would become a top 25 law blog by the end of the year.  Well, I was a bit off.  CLN is now the top 20th law blog overall per the popular Avvo / Alexa ranking system.  And its only October.

Wow .  .  .  Top 20!  I feel like I sneaked into the AP / UPI football poll, like Boise State before everyone figured out that they have always had a great football program (even if they are in Idaho where it is cold as hell after Thanksgiving).

To get here, I had to pass some super blogs:  Brian Cuba's great blog The Cuban Revolution which is ranked no. 76 and remains one of my favorites; Eric Turkewitz's New York Personal Injury Law Blog (no. 45); Carolyn Elefant's My Shingle (no. 38);  George Washington Law Professor Jonathan Turley's blog "Res Ipsa Loquitur (no. 28); the SCOTUS blog (no. 25) (what a terrible acronym for the Supreme Court of the United States - "SCOTUS" sounds like something you would touch only with a glove . . . ); and the terrifically talented but terribly shy Tax Girl (no. 24)(its almost impossible to find her name on her own blog). 

When I over-took one of my favorite cynics, OverLawyered (no. 21), I knew there was no looking back.     

O.K.  Enough about the blogs in my rear view mirror.  Who's next to fall?  Professor Becker and 7th Circuit Judge Posner's great Beckner Posner Blog (no. 18) will soon be toast.  And I will pass the Canadian cooperative law blog Slaw, at no. 17, shortly.

Does this sound a bit cocky?  I hope so.  A lack of confidence as a trial lawyer is a sign of weakness, especially in a major metropolitan market like Miami.  And whenever I shamlessly promote my blog like this, I know that the most popular blog is not necessarily the most influential or substantial blog.  Kevin O'Keefe of LexBlog wrote an article about not getting caught up in a popularity contest last year - "Engagement versus Vanity."  

My thought is that honking your own horn is just fine, as long as you are engaged and are writing insightful and relevant blogs. 

Another gratifying thing to me is that I have been blogging for only one year and the bloggers I passed have been at it for many years.   I'm sure that none of them have ever heard of CLN.

Cruise Law News - A "Hard Hitting Blog"

Today, the Miami Daily Business Review ran an article about Royal Caribbean trying to disqualify our firm (a story I wrote about last week - more about that later).  The Business Review characterized Cruise Law News (CLN) as a "hard hitting blog." 

Launched in September 2009, CLN has become one of the most widely read legal blogs in the U.S.  Based on U.S. readership, CLN is now in the list of the top 7 most popular law blogs written by lawyers who actually practice law. 

Now I will be the first to admit that winning a popularity contest does not mean being the most insightful or the most influential blog.  There are a lot of law blogs competing for the "best" category, based on all types of subjective and non quantifiable criteria.  And there are lots of interesting law blogs which are written by professors like The Volokh Conspiracy, AlthouseLegal Insurrection, Jonathan Turley and Slaw which have blogged successfully for years. 

But when it comes to lawyers who actually take depositions, attend hearings, go to court and try cases, the list of most popular blogs is quite small.  Which legal blawgs involving actual practicing lawyers are the most popular?

According to "Avvo's Top Legal Blogs," which uses the Alexa ranking system, here are the 7 most popular law blogs operated by practicing lawyers, based on U.S. traffic (the lower the number, the higher the ranking):

26,700 - IPWatchdog by Gene Quinn (patent lawyer); 

38,100  - Cruise Law News by me;

44,903 - Simple Justice by Scott Greenfield (criminal defense); 

59,782 - Mortgage Fraud Blog by Rachel Dollar (bank / transactional litigation);

77,300 - Tax Girl by Kelly Phillips Erb (tax attorney);

110,257 - China Law Blog by Dan Harris (international law); and

136,029 - Legal Juice by Mesirow & Stravitz (personal injury lawyers). 

When I launched the blog one year ago, I promised that I would talk straight about issues which make the cruise industry uncomfortable.  So Its reaffirming for a local business newspaper to call CLN "hard hitting." 

Sounds like bragging?  You bet.  This is Miami after all.  A lack of confidence in a city of over-achieving-caffeine-addicted-ego-maniacs gets you run over.  

And I don't intend to end up being road kill.

 

A "Hard Hitting Blog" was featured today on Best in Law Blogs : LexBlog Network : October 5, 2010  Thanks LexBlog!