Monday, November 7, 2011
Virgina State Bar's Crackdown on Lawyer's Blog Raises Questions is an important undated article in the Washington Post. It discusses a situation where the Virginia State Bar brought a charge of misconduct against a criminal lawyer, in part, because of his postings on his blog. Apparently, they were written in such a way to constitute lawyer advertising triggering the need to include a disclaimer. As the article states:
One purpose of the Web site is to market the firm and attract business, so any discussion of Hunter’s cases is considered advertising and must include a disclaimer “that puts the case results in a context that is not misleading,” the charge said.
Hunter’s case, which is scheduled for a hearing Oct. 18, appears to be the first time the Virginia State Bar has lodged a formal charge against an attorney over blogging and whether it violates advertising rules. State bar counsel Edward Davis would neither confirm nor deny the existence of previous charges against lawyers over blogs and advertising, but there is no record of disciplinary action against Virginia attorneys regarding the matter, according to the bar’s archives of disciplinary actions dating back to 1999. The bar can suspend or disbar attorneys found in violation of legal ethics.
The blog can be found here.
This raises many interesting legal issues ripe for law review commentary.
Mitchell H. Rubinstein
Hat Tip: New York Public Personnel Law