Saturday’s New York Times has a thought-provoking article on attorney’s and social media and the dangers of opening up too much.
Sean Conway was steamed at a Fort Lauderdale judge, so he did what millions of angry people do these days: he blogged about her, saying she was an “Evil, Unfair Witch.”
But Mr. Conway is a lawyer. And unlike millions of other online hotheads, he found himself hauled up before the Florida bar, which in April issued a reprimand and a fine for his intemperate blog post.
The type of comments made by Conway were not isolated, as the article reveals, and this is an issue that isn’t going away any time soon.
And with thousands of blogs and so many lawyers online, legal ethics experts say that collisions between the freewheeling ways of the Internet and the tight boundaries of legal discourse are inevitable — whether they result in damaged careers or simply raise eyebrows.
Stephen Gillers, an expert on legal ethics at New York University Law School, sees many more missteps in the future, as young people who grew up with Facebook and other social media enter a profession governed by centuries of legal tradition.