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Is your law firm blog exposing you to liability?

The legal liability of blogging is the subject of an article by Lawrence Savell of Chadbourne & Parke. On the positive side, the article provides items to review as your law firm proceeds with blogs. On the downside, the article provides a firm looking for reasons not to enter the world of blogging a laundry list.

By the nature of blogs being new creatures, the article raises more questions than answers.

  • What is the significance of the increased immediacy of blogs?
  • Are blogs more likely in the defamation context to be construed as protected ‘opinion’?
  • Are they more likely in the copyright or trademark context to be construed as a permissible ‘fair use’ of the intellectual property of others?
  • Do traditional communications law principles apply and, if so, in what manner?
  • Are bloggers journalists, such that both the privileges and the responsibilities of journalists are applicable to them?
  • Are their employer ramifications when permitting employees to blog?
  • How can disclaimers be used to minimize risks?

Law firms viewed websites too risky back in 1997. Same is happening today. Some law firms have seen the light of blogging. But we have many more to go.