The story about the possible crackdown on foreign lawyers operating in China, which we reported yesterday in our briefs section, was originally broken by our friends at China Law Blog on May 11. We picked up the story from the Wall Street Journal (as we indicated – our Daily Briefs are a summary of the day’s top China news). The story rests on a document issued by the Shanghai Bar Association, which warns that many foreign law firms are engaged in illegal activity, ranging from practicing without a license to tax evasion. China Law Blog obtained the document, wrote about it, and passed it on to China Confidential (a journalist’s blog) who also posted. The WSJ’s own law blog picked up on both these other blogs within hours, but it took another four days to reach the pages of the WSJ. Opinions vary as to the significance of the document, but what I found most interesting in the conversation is that it is unusual for a country to give as much rein to foreign lawyers as China does. It is illegal for foreign lawyers to practice in all 50 US states.