Sunday, September 13, 2009

Effort to expose a valid problem

The NY Times reports:
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.
I guess that is how they keep lawyers from badmouthing the courts.

In another case, it said:
For his part, Mr. Conway noted that the judge he criticized was reprimanded last year by the Florida Supreme Court, which affirmed a state panel’s criticism of what it called an “arrogant, discourteous and impatient” manner with lawyers in another case. ...

But the State Supreme Court ultimately concluded that his online “personal attack” was “not uttered in an effort to expose a valid problem” with the judicial system. And so, the court concluded, the statements “fail as protected free speech under the First Amendment.”
I am not a lawyer, so I don't have to follow these silly Bar Assn. rules. Nevertheless, I will try to make an effort to expose a valid problem whenever I utter a personal attack.

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