Monday, May 14, 2012

Can Lawyers Bash Another Lawyer in a Blog?

In New York, the answer is yes, if your statements are truthful.Here is the interesting question:

May a lawyer host or participate in an internet blog established as a forum for lawyersto recount their experiences in dealing with an adversary whose past professional conduct is considered by them to have been unethical, harassing or abusive?

Here is the answer:

Blogging about an adversary's over-the-top conduct is not unethical so long as the criticism is factually accurate, the New York state bar's ethics committee has advised (New York State Bar Association Committee on Professional Ethics, Op. 912).

The committee concluded that a lawyer's truthful public criticism of another member of the bar does not amount to conduct harmful to the administration of justice. However, the opinion urges lawyers to be civil in blogging about the antics of other attorneys, and reminds lawyers that truly serious misconduct must be reported to disciplinary authorities.

Good. I’ll sleep more soundly tonight.  Here is coverage from U.S. Law Week online, and here is the ethics committee’s opinion


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In New York, lawyers can blog about an adversary's unethical conduct as long as it's factually accurate, says the state bar's ethics committee. They emphasize the importance of being civil and reporting serious misconduct to disciplinary authorities.

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