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January 24, 2014

UPDATED: The Week in Wild West Shows: Free Speech, Dueling & Other Manly Arts.

The Wild West Show that is still the blogosphere can get ugly. There are some rough spots. Apart from law that governs our discourse on the Internet, we are still in the process of creating--and learning--the folkways of cyberspace. Most are unwritten common sense do's and dont's of how to behave as we sort things out in the ether. And there are lessons. Some of the lessons come with a short-term price. This week's lessons emerged from a week-long multi-participant brawl, triggered by a young lawyer's testosterone-drenched reaction to a post Scott Greenfield penned way back on December 2. Specifics and vigorous coverage are in the links below.

But let it be known here that Greenfield deftly moderated comments in a four-post (yes, he wrote four) round-the-clock discussion this past week. When Greenfield himself came under attack, he got an informed, elegant and King-Hell funny defense from Ken White at Popehat. Free speech was the overall topic. Subtopics: plagiarism, intellectual property, commercial speech, defamation, how to write, how to persuade, emotional intelligence, your online footprint, Internet culture clash and avoiding the appearance of a certain ethnocentrism. If you want lessons, there are scads in this story. So, for some teaching posts, see here, here, here and here by Greenfield at Simple Justice and this one by Ken White at Popehat. Thanks, you two. We learned something. And you got us all thinking about our new ditigal world.

UPDATE. There were other sage posts covering this week's Speechfest. In no particular order:

This Lawyer Just Failed Blogging and Social Media Basics by lawyer-journalist Bill Peacock at FindLaw's Strategist.

Bring a First Aid Kit: Online Damage Control for Lawyers by Mark Bennett at Defending People.

What Is The First Rule Of Holes? Bueller…Bueller? by Mike G at That Mr. G Guy's Blog.

12 Steps To Ruining Your Reputation by Keith Lee at his weekly Above The Law column.

Not every wrong act violates a black-letter ethics rule by fellow Maryland lawyer Bruce Godfrey.

Burr v. Hamilton, July 11, 1804, Weehawken, NJ (Wikipedia Commons)

Posted by JD Hull at January 24, 2014 03:17 PM


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