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Public defender shares reasons and guidelines for blogging

Apparently there’s been some discussion among public defender bloggers about whether to blog from work. Caused a Texas Public Defender to provide her decision to err on the side of blogging.

My feelings about the criminal justice system are shaped by a lot of things, and one of the major ones is obviously my own personal experiences as a public defender. I like to think that my personal stories inform whoever might be reading this blog about just who is spouting off her opinion. I also have read quite a few posts on other blawgs from defense attorneys and public defenders that helped me get through a bad hour, bad day, or bad week because I knew that other people across this country were doing what I was doing, and were facing the same struggles I was. As I type this, I realize that it’s sort of like a quasi-support group, I guess.

However, because she does not want to ever come close to revealing any privileged or confidential information, destroy any good professional relationship or get fired she developed some personal blogging guidelines.

  • Don’t use any client names–not even first names.
  • Never reveal client conversations beyond a general, ‘Client says he didn’t do it’ type reference.
  • Don’t use any names of co-workers, prosecutors, or judges.
  • Never, ever, ever blog about or even mention my boss or the particulars of my office.

Although remaining ‘somewhat anonymous,’ she concedes “if someone really wanted to figure out who I am, they could. But she expressed from the heart why blogging was worthwhile:

I recognize that it’s possible, I might get burned for some of this. But, for now, I’m just doing the best that I can, hoping that some people get something out of this place.

Great stuff from a down to earth lawyer just trying to help folks.