My current project involves working with statutes and with case law. One of my project partners has built a learning assignment around a court case. Eric Turkewitz has the details (as do many others, including the Boston Globe), but this is the quick summary:
Dr. Robert Lindeman was defending against a malpractice suit in 2007. While Lindeman was on the stand, the plaintiff’s attorney asked if he had a medical blog. He said he did. She asked if he was Flea (posting on the now-vanished drfleablog). He said yes.
The case was settled the following day.
Flea, it turns out, had been blogging before the trial began. He discussed meeting with “an expert on juries” for advice on how to behave on the stand. He also blogged during the trial, commenting on the judge, the sleepy jurors and the appearance of the plaintiff’s attorney.
Ironically, in a PDF that claims to have been made of Flea’s site before it was taken down, Flea reports his lawyer suggesting that the opposing side “may pull articles from Flea’s ‘legitimate’ web site to use against him.”
This apparently did not cause Lindeman to tell his attorney, “You know, I have a blog, too.”
I don’t know anything about the merits of the court case. I do know that a client needs to help his attorney anticipate potential difficulties. And that blogging, while free, can have costs.