Web 2 Point D'oh

It is never a good thing when someone from your organization goes to a workshop on the liabilities of anything. It is even worse when you are a Bar Association. Worse still when you are in charge of reaching out to members. Really bad when you are trying to explain social networking to a group in which I am the youngest person. [Read more…]

I Am JACK THOMPSON! No Ordinary Disbarment Can Contain Me!!!

What? Enhanced disbarment?!? NOOOOOOOOOO!!!

The Florida Bar asked for an "enhanced disbarment" in the disciplinary hearing of [games industry litigation showboat attorney and Fox News idol] Jack Thompson, held earlier this afternoon. The recommendation means Thompson would be disbarred and prohibited from applying to practice law again for ten years, according to 11th Judicial Circuit of Florida spokesperson Eunice Sigler.

Thompson's disciplinary hearing apparently ended in the attorney walking out of the courtroom after saying the judge did not have the authority to hear his case, a reader who sat in on the hearing told us.

Couldn't have happened to a nicer guy.

Before walking out of the courtroom, Thompson filed what he called "Thompson's Formal Objection to June 4 Sanctions Hearing." In the rambling, 4,500-word objection, Thompson questioned Tunis' ability to preside at his hearing, calling her incompetent and arrogant and threatening to have her removed from office "in the days and weeks ahead." He also went on to call the people run The Florida Bar fascists and denied that he was involved some sort of "petty culture war."

Thompson wrapped up his 14-page objection by quoting from the bible, and saying that he and Senators Clinton and Obama understand the dangers posed by the Grand Theft Auto games.

Further discussion of this legal milestone can be had in the Popehat forum.

Hat tip: Forum member and frequent commenter Dave. Title hattip: my co-blogger Grandy.

Should Lawyers Have Access To The Internet?

If the lawyer has a big mouth or loose fingers, take away his keyboard.

That's the conclusion I draw from this Wall Street Journal Law Blog entry on the hazards, to the lawyer and to the client, of blogging by attorneys. The article includes a couple of horror stories, real and potential, such as the patent attorney who got his client and himself sued for defamation once his anonymity was stripped away, and an attorney whose blog about a high-profile case was being read by a potential juror. (Had the juror been dishonest and been admitted to the panel, years of work and many thousands of dollars might have gone down the drain when that fact came to light on someone's motion for a new trial.)

I'm a lawyer, and I blog. Though I prefer to blog about other lawyers' problems, sometimes I do write about my own. Generally I try to wait until the case is resolved before mentioning anything about it. If I break that rule, well I'm pretty good with google and know what sorts of mistakes trap people on the internet. I've burned witnesses with their own stupid internet writings badly enough to appreciate the danger. There's nothing in the world like the feeling of handing an expert witness a copy of the libelous statements he wrote about my own client on the web, marked as a deposition exhibit.

I change names radically. I move cities and towns. I'm deliberately vague about anything that could lead to my client's identity. I change facts if necessary, while preserving the point of whatever I wanted to post about. And my clients are pretty anonymous. Insurance companies that don't need names, manufacturers whose names and products need not be identified, or generic people involved in very generic situations. John Doe and Jane Roe.

And yet I'm still stupid to do it.