Monday, November 20, 2006


A recent article by Ameet Sachdev on brought to the forefront a new practice by many lawyers: "blawgging". In the article titled Blogging Lawyers: The Ethics Debate, Sachdev highlights what different states are doing to tackle ethical issues brought about by the journaling lawyers. Many believe that the blogs are being used as free advertising. A large can of worms may have just been opened in the blogging world.
"'If I blog and I talk about the law, why should that be treated any differently from a lawyer who goes to a senior center and gives a free talk about elder care?' said Marty Schwimmer, a lawyer who writes a blog about trademark and copyright law."

Many states are beginning to try to regulate what is posted on the lawyers' blogs, bringing about concerns of freedom of speech and professional ethical conduct. It seems to me that regulation of online content is becoming a large problem. I do agree that there should be some restrictions online, but I think that regulating anyone's blog is a direct infringement on a person's rights.
"The New York state's office of court administration has proposed some requirements that may pose a burden to lawyer bloggers. One amendment would require attorneys to provide copies of all ads. The definition of advertisements would include Web sites, e-mails, blogs and speeches."

I am ok with some online regulation, but to me, a blog is a personal journal. Bloggers don't have a whole lot of control over who reads their blog, unless they want to. If lawyers can get some free "advertising" out of the deal, more power to them. If regulations are going to be put into effect, they will need to be very specific and much less broad than what New York is proposing. It's not as if the blogs are being shoved in people's faces--many go out looking for them.


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