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California Lawyer Shuttering Stuns Legal Community

Posted By Administration, Thursday, October 15, 2015
Updated: Thursday, October 15, 2015

The abrupt recent demise of longstanding legal magazine California Lawyer has shocked and raised suspicion of lawyers and legal reporters, who wonder why the Daily Journal would suddenly pull the plug on its sister publication.

"I was taken totally by surprise by the demise of California Lawyer, as was the staff. We had no warning whatsoever," said Santa Clara University Law School professor Jerry Uelmen, a member of the magazine's editorial advisory board.

 "It came as a real shock. Everybody in the legal community is pretty surprised," said longtime legal journalist Susan Kostal, a writer for the magazine whose last piece on the hidden cost of police body cameras was published online only.

 Kostal found out about it from a friend, who sent her a link to a Sept. 30 blog post by Jim Romenesko, the day the bombshell was dropped on the magazine's staff.

"California Lawyer was the first magazine where I was a staff editor and I learned a tremendous amount from the very talented people there. There were some real pros who worked there and I'll miss it," Kostal said.

 She still remembers her first cover story, written for the magazine back when she worked for the Daily Journal. It was an investigative piece on the murder of Dexter Jacobson, an attorney who was looking into fraud in the bankruptcy courts.

Kostal later confirmed the news that the magazine was folding with Daily Journal editor David Houston. Calls to Houston and the Daily Journal's San Francisco office were not returned.

 The memo posted on Romenesko's blog reads: "At 9:30 this morning a representative from the Daily Journal Corporation announced to staff that California Lawyer would cease publication in the print and digital editions, as of the October issue. Termination for all staff is immediate, as of Sept. 30, 2015. At the close of work today our email will no longer function."

But aside from Romenesko's posting and a item in the San Francisco Chronicle, the collapse of California Lawyer has gone largely unreported in the legal media, even by the magazine itself or its parent company, the Daily Journal.

Read the whole story at Courthouse News Service

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