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Blogs are a discussion : Lawyers must defend others right to speak

Blogs are a discussion.

Bloggers publish posts on their blogs in response to what they’ve heard (read) elsewhere. They’ll post comments on other blogs. Bloggers share their insight, disagree with other bloggers, make a point and do all the other things that took place in town forums of a couple hundred years ago. That’s what makes blog discussion great. Heck, that’s what makes this country great.

This town forum – free speech at work is what has drawn so many lawyers to blogs or blawgs, as some excellent lawyers have called theirs. This should come as no surprise. Almost half of the signers of The Declaration of Independence were lawyers. Over half of the signers of the United States Constitution, guaranteeing freedom of speech, were lawyers.

Lawyers publishing blogs should be championing freedom of speech, not preventing speech they disagree with. Lawyers should champion causes on their blogs. They should openly challenge institutions, ideas and others. At the same time, lawyers must be prepared to be challenged themselves and be disagreed with.

However, there’s at least a couple lawyers I know who use their blogs as bully pulpits who trounce free speech. Such lawyers only allow comments from people of their choosing. They’ll only allow commenters which don’t disagree too strongly with positions they’ve taken on their blogs. At the same time, they’re given free access to openly comment on other lawyer blogs.

Sure, frivolous and spam comments have no place on blogs. But free speech must be championed by lawyers. If not us, then who?

Lawyers who have contributed so much to open and free discussion on the blogosphere should be lauded. Those lawyers who have chosen to ignore the heritage of our forefathers by trampling freedom of speech should correct their ways or be ignored.

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