First, delink the lawyers

First, delink the lawyers
: Glenn Reynolds is back with the sage observation (from a lawyer) that it doesn’t look too productive to send lawyers gunning for bloggers.

Does this mean that it’s always a mistake to send lawyers after bloggers? I suppose not. But I have to say that so far that’s how it looks. The ill-fated Luskin / Atrios dispute, the New York Times / National Debate facedown, and now this [the case of John Gray and his degrees] all suggest that sometimes it’s better just to let minor things go by than to issue threats that give the subject matter a much higher profile than it otherwise would have had. At the very least, a polite message pointing out the error, and requesting a correction without threats and bluster, is likely to do more good, and generate far less blowback. Bloggers are, in my experience, quite willing to correct errors of fact, but not impressed with threats and bluster.

Still, there will be blusterers who will threaten. I still want to see all the blogging lawyers — and there are many — band together to offer education and support (about a legal aid society for bloggers that will at least respond to lawyer letters with lawyer letters on your behalf?).

  • Dick Eagleson

    Splendid idea, delinking all the lawyers. I’ll get a rope.

  • Buzz

    Well, in the case of John Gray, it would
    have made more sense had he had a real case
    to make. As it turned out, John Gray is the
    one with something to hide: namely his over
    pumped credentials.

  • I’ve suggested a legal defense fund for sometime now. I haven’t done it because no one has been sued yet, to my knowledge. However, I had not thought about a central place for response letters. If I see a blogger in trouble and they are in my state, I do contact them privately and offer pro bono letterwriting assistance. Not one has needed it yet.

  • It’s not blogger specific and does’t provide representation, but don’t forget Chilling Effects, http://chillingeffects.org/, a cooperative project of several fine law schools that seeks among other things to dissect and debunk overblown and unfounded cease and desist letters.