Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Time For Yet Another Blogger Ethics Panel!


Our friends in Broweird, already awash in facacta "investigations," may have another one on their hands, as reported by the always-excellent Bob Norman.

This one, at least, (finally) has some naughty bits:
Local attorney Barbara Heyer, who happens to be the wife of Broward County Judge Marc Gold, sent an oh-so serious letter -- with "exhibits," mind you -- to JAABlog administrator Bill Gelin that basically accused Gelin, a lawyer, of violating the Florida Bar by posting the racy photograph (shown at right) on his blog.

Heyer wrote that she was "dismayed to see the display of a nude woman in a very suggestive and demeaning position" on the blog on April 23. The latter day Queen Victoria continues:

"As you are a member of the Florida Bar, perhaps you need to be reminded that we have certain obligations to the Public and the legal community. Let me refer you to Rule 4-8.4(d), which states, in pertinent part, that a lawyer will not: 'engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that is prejudicial to the administration of justice, including to knowingly, or through callous indifference, disparage, humiliate, or discriminate against litigants, jurors, witnesses, court personnel, or other lawyers on any basis ... on account of race, ethnicity, gender ..."

Heyer, who added the emphasized text, also wrote that "dozens, if not hundreds, of vile comments that have appeared on your blog serve only to embarrass our profession."

The implication is clear here, but it's ridiculous. That photograph didn't humiliate or disparage any lawyers. And don't you just love the way these folks who fear JAABlog always act like their profession is so pure and virtuous? Such high-minded rhetoric might pass the smell test in a meeting of lawyers, but the public damn well knows better.

First question -- is posting to a blog "conduct in connection with the practice of law"?

Second question -- doesn't "knowingly or through callous indifference" mean anything?

Third question -- the letter's a bit much, no?

To the Blogger From the North:

Stay gold, Gelin-boy, stay gold.

6 comments:

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