Defendant Learns Why Blogging About Your Own Trial is a Bad Idea

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A tool or device probably can’t be considered inherently bad in and of itself.  A case could be made that some, like the atomic bomb or the BlackBerry, are so dangerous or destructive that they should be banned entirely because there is just no good way to use them without unacceptable risk.  But such examples are pretty rare.  Same for blogging.  Blogging can be a great way to share information, or it can be a very bad idea; it depends how you blog, and who or what you blog about.

Here’s a suggestion — blogging about your own trial is probably not a good idea.  If you are the defendant, do not (for example) reveal the defense strategy of the case, or accuse jurors of not paying attention.  This is because blogs appear on something called the "Internet," which can be viewed by something called "the public."  And this can come back to bite something called "your ass."

This lesson was learned by Dr. Robert Lindeman last month.  Lindeman is a pediatrician who had been sued for malpractice.  He also writes, or until recently wrote, a blog called "drfleablog," in which a blogger named "Flea" writes about medical issues, including issues relating to, let’s say, the ongoing trial of a malpractice suit against a pediatrician.  A week or two before that trial began, the plaintiff’s attorney had learned about the blog, and apparently monitored it to see what might turn up there during trial.  "Flea" began to post some fairly embarrassing comments, which led to an unusual cross-examination question: "Are you ‘Flea’?"  He was.

Plaintiff’s counsel did not go into much, if any, detail about drfleablog at that point, but had gotten her point across.  Lindeman settled the next morning for what was described as a "substantial" sum.

Link: Boston Globe