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Category Archives: Ethics & Blogging Law

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Ghost law blogging is unethical : Nearing a consensus

Sorry lazy lawyers and marketing professionals selling ghostwritten blog posts. Lawyers and many other professionals are coming close to a consensus that ghost-blogging is unethical. The most recent discussion took place on Facebook and Twitter this week. Until now it was like talking religion or politics with the flak I received when expressing my belief… Continue Reading

Legal ethics : Are blogs governed by advertising rules?

Attorneys Richard Raysman and Peter Brown write in the New York Law Journal that online advertising, a $20 billion industry for just half of 2013, raises a number of ethical challenges for lawyers. Topping the list of online advertising was the blog, which Raysman and Brown believe could be the “most useful tool in one’s… Continue Reading

U.S. Court : Bloggers deserve freedom of the press protection

As reported by Dan Levine (@FedCourtJunkie), the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco ruled yesterday that a blogger is entitled to the same free speech protections as a traditional journalist. A bankruptcy trustee and Obsidian Finance Group sued a Crystal Cox for defamation over a 2011 blog post she wrote accusing them… Continue Reading

Spam blog comments by lawyers an ethics violation?

Good bloggers pick up a steady stream of spam comments to their blog. 99.9% of the spam comments are never seen by the blogger or the public, they are filtered out automatically. A few spam comments, the ones posted by “people,” get through. I blog for lawyers so the spam comments I get are from… Continue Reading

Lawyers scaring lawyers from using social media

Is a lawyer’s blogging and use of other social media akin to Danny Devito’s character in the Rainmaker soliciting hospital clients? This from Virginia Attorney, Jonathan Frieden (@JonathanFrieden), writing on the ethical issues of LinkedIn endorsements and lawyers touting successes on their blogs. The hypothetical of an attorney walking the halls of a hospital looking… Continue Reading

Virginia Court: First Amendment protection for lawyer-bloggers

Last fall Richmond criminal defense lawyer Horace Hunter was hit with a public reprimand by the Virginia Bar for blogging about his own cases and not including an ‘advertising disclaimer’ on his blog. As reported by Bob Ambrogi yesterday, the Portsmouth Circuit Court overturned the finding of misconduct as it pertained to blogging about Hunter’s… Continue Reading

Is all use of social media subject to legal ethics rules?

On the heels on Tom Watson’s article on the perils of social media for lawyers (blogged about yesterday) I was reminded of Attorney Josh King’s presentation last week on legal ethics and social media at Avvocating 2012. King, General Counsel for Avvo, explained to lawyers from around the country that social media was not as fraught with the… Continue Reading

Perils of social media for lawyers : Badgerland style

The drumbeat on the perils of social media continues. This time from my home state of Wisconsin. Thomas Watson, Senior Vice President at Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, writes in Wisconsin Lawyer Magazine “…[Social media's] use presents many dangers to lawyers trying to operate competent and ethical practices.” How? …you risk losing control of your message, creating unrealistic client… Continue Reading

Judge: When Bill of Rights was composed, bulletin boards were what blogs are today

There has been much discussion of last week’s decision dismissing a criminal case against a man accused of stalking and harassing a religious leader on Twitter. As reported by the New York Times’ Somini Sengupta (@SominiSengupta), The government had accused the defendant, William Lawrence Cassidy, of harassing and causing “substantial emotional distress” to a Buddhist… Continue Reading