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A Call for Action: New Appleman Xtreme Blog Challenge

Brew some coffee. Stock up on the junk food. Forget about sleep.
 
It’s time for the New Appleman Xtreme Blog Challenge. Beginning July 30, 2009, law students and junior attorneys are invited to enter the Challenge by submitting a blog for the LexisNexis Insurance Law Center about an insurance topic of their choice prior to the Challenge Deadline Date of August 31, 2009.
 
Got an idea about how to solve the healthcare problem (or an opinion about whether healthcare really is a problem)? A reaction to the latest Hurricane Katrina coverage case? Or the problem of risk management and natural disasters in general? What about the anti-concurrent causation clause found in some policies? Insurance and bankruptcy? Risk and insurance aspects of the swine flu pandemic? Bad faith law and practice? If you have something to say about any part of insurance law (broadly defined) put it out on the insurance center’s blog and share your insights with our online community.
 
We love opinion (and even opinionated people, most of the time) but we want opinions supported by authority. So provide sources where appropriate, cite to cases and statutes, give credit where it’s due, and for goodness sake don’t give us any reason to call the plagiarism police.
 
The New Appleman Xtreme Blog Challenge will be based on a two-tiered selection process. The LexisNexis Insurance Law Center’s Advisory Board will review all submissions and choose a crème de la crème group of blog contributions. In addition to evaluating blog entrants according to distinctiveness of perspective, creativity and authoritative support, criteria for the Board’s assessment will include: timeliness of the subject matter; thoroughness of the analysis; even-handedness of assessment (sharp opinions are interesting but we also want fair presentation of all sides of an issue) and clarity and quality of expression.
 
We will then turn this select group of finalists over to all of you—our community—to comment upon and select the best blog entries. Challenge winners will be chosen based on both the number and the quality of the comments that the ILC community posts about a blog submission.
 
To the victors go the spoils. Challenge winners will receive an AmazonKindle® and a complimentary one-year online subscription to the New Appleman Library Edition. But here’s the best part—Challenge winners will also become part of the New Appleman blogging team. Team members will submit blogs throughout 2009 (and possibly beyond) for prominent placement in a new ILC content module that will be devoted to identifying and researching insurance-related topics and issues.
 
 For examples of great blogging, consult the Insurance Law Center home page and archives http://law.lexisnexis.com/practiceareas/Insurance-Law-Blog/Insurance/. No shortage of sharp opinion there, but also plenty of objective information and even-handed overview of the subject that helps the reader assess the commentator’s position. 
 
All contestants that participate in the New Appleman Xtreme Blog Challenge must register on the LexisNexis Insurance Law Center and agree to the site’s terms and conditions. To do that, click on this link -- http://law.lexisnexis.com/userprofile/adduserprofile.aspx?return=/practiceareas/Insurance-Law-Blog. [Don’t worry, registration is FREE.]
 
Send your blog to me at karen.yotis@lexisnexis.com. Submit your blog entry in a Word document along with contact information (we need to be able to get in touch with you); a photo (we want our community to get a good look at you); and a short biography (we want to know a little bit about you too).
 
A few words on some other details: We’ve decided to allow contestants to supplement blog entries with podcasts, videos, or other visual/audio aides. Just keep it clean so we don’t excite anyone’s prurient interests. And remember what we said about the plagiarism police. Collaborative contributions are ok too, just so long as your group can play nice in the sandbox; anyone submitting a group entry will need to share the Kindle and other prizes after all.
 
That’s the short, informal version of how this is all going to work. The Legal Department here at LexisNexis has put together a longer, much more formal document—the New Appleman Xtreme Blog Challenge Contest Rules. You’ll find the Contest Rules here: http://www.lexisnexis.com/documents/pdf/20090729083503_large.pdf. Obviously, we aren’t just whistling Dixie.
 
One more thing about the Contest Rules--this is definitely not the type of writing that we’re looking for in a blog.
 
Please know that we’re casting a wide net here in an effort to catch the broadest possible range of participants. Announcements are going to law schools, law reviews, legal writing instructors, insurance professors, law firms, industry groups and authors/bloggers/industry professionals to help us locate Challenge participants. But we’ll still need all of you—our Community AND our Contestants—to get the word out about the New Appleman Xtreme Blog Challenge.
 
So tell everyone you know. Put a note on your Facebook page. Reach out to the Twitterati.
 
And start blogging.