Tuesday, February 14, 2012

See Ya Greenfield

Scott Greenfield is done blogging at Simple Justice. You can all stop your guessing and "aw shucks, really?" He's done, It's over. Greenfield has a wicked sense of humor and wit but he would never waste his time faking his exit from the blogosphere. You're not worth it.

I know it's hard for you to understand why. You don't wake up at 4 a.m. daily and type intelligent explanatory prose on various legal happenings and the demise of our profession. You have a marketer for that, typing away about horrific accidents or terrible crimes, filled with links to your website in the hope that the phone will ring, in the hope that you'll create a fake reputation in time to pay the barista.

Blogging for profit is easy. Hire someone to do it, or write about yourself and your seemingly important work. Writing about the system and those that toil in it, trying to examine police behavior, judicial behavior, attorney strategy, takes thought.

And thought today is rare.

Greenfield pulled up every morning in his '78 Cadillac (because there was nothing wrong with it) next to the kids in the Smart Cars and those being dropped off by their parents, and spoke his mind. He was the grunting old man taking too long to order black coffee at Starbucks, holding the flip phone that can access the internet, but he doesn't know how.

He exposed the sewer that the marketers have made of the internet, and they paid him back with their cowardness by not typing one comment on his final post. They instead called each other in a celebratory mood, contemplating the future with one less "lawyer of the past" that would hurt their snake oil business.

Those fortunate to have an off-line relationship with the old man, were treated to intelligent conversation, sage advice, and and a guy who insisted on picking up the check. A gentleman. When I was installed as President of the Florida Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers, I asked Greenfield to speak. Instead of flying in and out, he came in, with his family, a couple days early, and stayed for and attended the entire conference. Mean guy that Greenfield.

Yes, Greenfield is part of the past. He still dons a suit and goes to court, he still has clients contact him by phone instead of Skype. No, he doesn't represent "start-up" type clients, his calls come from judges, lawyers, names of note. Greenfield built a reputation before any kid with a law degree (or not) could pretend she was a "rock star" on a computer monitor. To Greenfield, Elvis Presley was a rock star, Mick Jagger. Someone that has a cool website and retweets quotes on twitter, is not someone Greenfield would consider a rock star - because of course he's a dying breed.

At a minimum, Greenfield's departure leaves a huge hole in the criminal law blogosphere. The Happysphere group, those that never say anything of note because it would make people not like them, along with their brothers and sisters that type daily about shiny toys and how LinkedIn can make your dreams come true, all see a clearer path to writing nothing.

Sometimes things end. Five years blogging, as Greenfield said in his post, is an eternity. Those of you that blog for profit, or have someone do it for you, don't see this. You either don't write on your blog, or have no trouble writing about your greatness in law.

The man has a kid on his way to college, a wife he loves, a great practice, and this is just something he doesn't have the passion for anymore. He's probably tired of many of you and your lack of desire to do anything to remind him that this is a profession and not a marketing convention, and he's not going to continue if he can't do it the way he wants to do it. He's a crotchety old man.

But Greenfield will still be around. He'll still comment on your stupid blog, and he'll still make you look like an idiot on twitter.

There are many of you tech hacks and social media gurus that will claim Greenfield is an example of a lawyer that refused to "get on board." If he would just blog for profit he would continue.

Be careful. Be very careful.

You only wish you could afford, mentally and financially, to get on board Greenfield's train.

Greenfield was a blogger in the true sense - he wrote his thoughts, his analysis, and couldn't care less what anyone thought of it. It wasn't a marketing tool (although the marketers continued to bang their heads against his blog, claiming everyone blogs for profit.)

Yes, Greenfield will be around, he may write something here and there, but as a daily writer at Simple Justice, he's done. He had a good 5 years and now it's time to move on. He has nothing to prove to you, or himself. He is a lawyer that blogs, not the other way around. The difference to his practice now that he's not blogging every day will be zero. Really.

So I'll see you around Greenfield. You done good, and I thank you for keeping your shoe the necks of the lying, scamming, hucksters that are celebrating the end of Simple Justice today. Thanks for being important to Joel. Thanks for bringing to light corruption, terrible and great judicial decisions from far away places, noting the good journalists on the crime and civil rights beat, and being a daily reminder that there are still lawyers that don't see wearing shorts and typing at Starbucks while meeting clients as "the future of law."

Later Greenfield.

Anonymous comments are welcome as long as they say something relevant and half-way intelligent and arent a vehicle for a coward to attack someone. I trust you understand. Located in Miami, Florida, Brian Tannebaum practices Bar Admission and Discipline and Criminal Defense. He is the author of I Got A Bar Complaint.Share/Save/Bookmark


South Florida Lawyers said...

Well done. His voice will be missed.

Jackie Carpenter said...

I hate to see him go, but I do understand. To reach out to young and less seasoned lawyers and show us by way of example how to have integrity in this profession was a gift.

David Fuller said...

I believe the appropriate response to the happysphere crowd is "don't piss down my back tell me it's raining."