Thursday, May 01, 2008
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Blogging Office Issues

I can't believe it has come to this.

In our office, three of the seven lawyers are bloggers. That's one shy of a majority. (There's a pun there somewhere, but only those three may get it.)

We were also toying with the idea of keeping blogs of the work we have done for the day, internally, of course, as sort of our daily service record. That way, we can all keep track of each other professionally. (Or more specifically, so our managing partner can keep track of us.) But that has to be internal to the office and absolutely hidden from the outside word. We still don't know how to do that.

Since blogging has become somewhat akin to mass media, that is, one cannot assume that any given weblog will be completely private, as in anyone can read it, there will be responsibilities that will go with publishing your thoughts for theoretically the whole world to see.

And if that blogger is lawyer, the responsibilities double.

Hence, the firm now needs to establish a blogging policy. As I said before, I never thought it will come to this.

So here's what I propose:

1. Be aware of the "reasonable expectation of privacy" doctrine in blogging. As a blogger, one cannot assume that what one blogs about will be private. Remember, one's blog is always one controversial post away from being (in)famous (and hopefully, raking in the big blogging bucks... Nyuk! Nyuk! Nyuk!).

2. Be responsible as a blogger. This means your basic "journalistic" responsibilities, with particular emphasis on the issue of libel.

3. Be responsible as a lawyer and as an officer of the court. This means your basic legal ethics, especially on ensuring client confidence (i.e., we don't blog about specific clients) and on ensuring judiciary confidence (i.e., we don't blog about specific cases, or respecting the sub judice rule) or even public confidence in the legal profession as a whole (e.g., if you're blogging about a point in law, at least make sure it's correct and duly substantiated).

Also, if you want to demonstrate you're a lawyer in your blog, at least show you're a capable, competent one.

But as an office policy, as my partner said, "Blog about the chair, the table, your cat or dog, but not about your work." (Guilty as charged!)

4. Be responsible as a human being. This means basically, The Golden Rule.

No, it's not "He who has the gold makes the rules." It's, "Blog about others as others would blog about you."

Basic courtesy, basically. Political correctness? Maybe, if that's your style.

I think I covered everything. Did I miss anything, guys?

1 Objection(s):

At 12:16 PM, Blogger J. A. Carizo said...

Hi sir, I accidentally stumbled on your blog and I found it informative as well as entertaining. About your idea of your officemates/fellow lawyers keeping track of each other through a facility similar to a blog, well, maybe you can try DotProject which can be found at or at sourceforge. It's also an open source software and is designed for project management.

Keep blogging. "Life is shorts!" :)


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