Chalk it up to the age of Facebook. Blogging lawyers and judges have landed in trouble with legal ethics regulators and judges, while one blogging lawyer ended up as a defendant in a defamation lawsuit.
My opinion? I’ve blogged for some time now. Early on, I discovered that my ethical duties under the Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC’s) clearly prohibit me from discussing certain things. This is ESPECIALLY true in matters involving judges and clients.
For example, RPC 8.2 prohibits lawyers from making making statements against judges that ” . . . the lawyer knows is false or with reckless disregard as to its truth concerning the qualifications, integrity, or record of the judge.” Indeed, the rule goes on to say that lawyers take an active role in quelching “bad talk” about judges: ” Lawyers . . . should support and continue traditional efforts to defend judges and courts from unjust criticism.”
Additionally, RPC 1.6 — which addresses client confidences/secrets — holds that a lawyer SHALL NOT reveal confidences or secrets relating to the representation of a client unless the client consents after consultation.
Lawyers, be careful. Treat clients and judges like gold. The internet doesn’t exist in a vacuum . . .