Jennifer J Rose
Nov 22, 2015
Lawyers who have blogs often have a lot in common with the proverbial cobbler’s unshod children. They may write well and be highly knowledgeable about the area of law they’re blogging about, but they fly by the seat of their pants, just winging it when it comes to the law of blogging. Lawyers do blog their way into trouble: the public defender who blogs about her clients, the now-disbarred lawyer who trashed the court and opposing counsel, the lawyer who revealed matters a client would’ve rather kept private, the lawyer whose blog resembled a trashy billboard in a bad part of town, the lawyer who really didn’t understand the fair use doctrine.
A number of blogs address the law of blogging, piecemeal, addressing trends and cases as issues arise, but a single reference explaining the law of blogging, in language that lawyers could enjoy and understand, just wasn’t there. That is, not until Ruth Carter, who practices social media and flash mob law at VENJURIS, an Arizona law firm, wrote the book: The Legal Side of Blogging for Lawyers, published by the American Bar Association Law Practice Division (http://shop.americanbar.org/eBus/Store/ProductDetails.aspx?productId=214285).
Carter, blogging as Ruth Carter |Carter Law Firm (http://carterlawaz.com/_ and The Undeniable Ruth (http://www.undeniableruth.com/), addresses the panoply of issues – First Amendment rights, defamation, protecting confidential sources, the legal risks of comments and guest posts, registering and protecting copyright, anti-SLAPP laws, cyber-bullying, shield laws, ethical pitfalls, promoting a blog and engaging readers, integrating others’ work into a blog, policing the Internet for copyright infringement, lawyer advertising, licensing blog content, invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and more – within 216 pages. It would be very easy to present these issues in a dire, finger-wagging tone, but the author keeps an upbeat, conversational tone, relating real-life ex