Blogging Your Court Case Is A Very Bad Idea!

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Froomkin nails this, so let me free ride off his trenchant analysis:

The mind boggles.

Blogger unmasked, court case upended: As Ivy League-educated pediatrician Robert P. Lindeman sat on the stand in Suffolk Superior Court this month, defending himself in a malpractice suit involving the death of a 12-year-old patient, the opposing counsel startled him with a question. Was Lindeman Flea?

Flea, jurors in the case didn’t know, was the screen name for a blogger who had written often and at length about a trial remarkably similar to the one that was going on in the courtroom that day.

In his blog, Flea had ridiculed the plaintiff’s case and the plaintiff’s lawyer. He had revealed the defense strategy. He had accused members of the jury of dozing.

With the jury looking on in puzzlement, Lindeman admitted that he was, in fact, Flea.

So, here’s a little tip for anyone who finds themselves involved in a lawsuit: don’t blog about the case (or, at least, have every posting approved by your lawyer). And if you do have a blog, maybe you should mention this fact to your lawyer…

P.S. I’m sure someone in the blogosphere will try to spin this case as some sort of attack on bloggers’ inherent right to anonymity. It isn’t.

So now if Froomkin sues me for copyright infringement for lifting his entire post, don’t expect me to live blog the proceedings!

–Ann Bartow

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