By Kevin O'Keefe

lexBlog is looking for lawyer wanting trial blog

I was interviewed last Friday by a national legal publication on the subject of ‘trial blogs.’ The magazine’s editor is interested in seeing one in action and including a screen shot of the blog in the article.

One law firm has contacted me and asked lexBlog to be ready to launch a trial law blog but it does not appear imminent. So if you have a case on which you expect to commence suit or a case in suit and are looking to give some public exposure to the matter, drop me an email.

What’s a trial blog? It could mean many things to many people but I view it as a medium to broadcast matters of public record and facts that will be coming into evidence.

Being a former trial plaintiff’s lawyer, I thought the truth and the facts were powerful enemies of phony defenses thrown up to delay the inevitable – being held financially accountable. The problem with law suits, though some held a defendant accountable after trial and appeal, is that they took forever and never got word out to the public about the underlying facts of the case nor the antics of some defendants in defending the case.

On the other side of the coin, I am sure there are defendants who feel they are being unjustly sued. Though the defendant may ultimately prevail, does the word always get to the public on the merits of such a purported claim?

What could be more powerful than having your own newspaper or radio station broadcasting the commencement of suit, your position, the status of discovery, the positions taken by the parties & their witnesses during discovery, favorable court orders casting your opponent in bad light, court testimony and probably a lot more? Plus with blogs, word tends to spread like wild fire from one blog to the next to the media. Just ask CBS and Dan Rather about it.

This could easily be done with a blog. Text is easily published and documents can be uploaded so information and documentation can easily be retrieved by the media and the public. Both the media and the public would receive automatic updates from the blog by subscribing via RSS or email.

I am not talking about a sensationalized blog that is intended to influence proceedings. Most state ethic’s rule do not permit extrajudicial statements by a lawyer who knows or reasonably should know such statements would have a substantial likelihood of materially an adjudicative proceeding.

Despite this limitation, we see on TV or read in the newspaper lawyers making bold statements about their clients and a case at hand. Even the ABA Model Rules for Professional Conduct allow a lawyer to state:

  1. The claim, offense or defense involved and, except when prohibited by law, the identity of the persons involved;
  2. Information contained in a public record;
  3. That an investigation of a matter is in progress;
  4. The scheduling or result of any step in litigation;
  5. A request for assistance in obtaining evidence and information necessary thereto;
  6. A warning of danger concerning the behavior of a person involved, when there is reason to believe that there exists the likelihood of substantial harm to an individual or to the public interest;

In addition, despite these limitations, the Model Rules allow a lawyer to may make a statement that a reasonable lawyer would believe is required to protect a client from the substantial undue prejudicial effect of recent publicity not initiated by the lawyer or the lawyer’s client.

I’ll write more about lawyer blogs in the near future. For readers with thoughts and opinions on the concept of a trial blogs, post a comment below or drop me an email.

Kevin O'Keefe
About the Author

Trial lawyer turned legal tech entrepreneur, I am the founder and CEO of LexBlog, a legal blog community of over 30,000 blog publishers, worldwide. LexBlog’s publishing platform is used on a subscription basis by over 18,000 legal professionals, including the largest law firm in each India, China and the United States.

Subscribe to Real Lawyers Have Blogs via Email or RSS
Please enter a valid email address and click the button.
Recent Posts
More content can be found in the Search section.