First off, I’m not your lawyer. This is a strictly personal weblog which muses on legal issues and my personal experiences. Writing to me does not make me your lawyer. Asking questions of me does not make me your lawyer.
Any writings in this blog (or any links from it) are simply not legal advice, either generally, or in reference to anyone’s specific circumstances. Do not rely on anything you read here as a definitive statement of the law or as legal advice.
Laws vary from place to place. If you have legal questions or require legal advice, contact a local lawyer, or better, several local lawyers.
Do not contact me regarding legal services of any kind via the blog or via any email addresses which may be associated with it.
All posts here reflect the changing views (such as they are) of the author, not my employer or any other person or party.
All comments here are posted by the reading public at large - I take no responsibility for them, but will edit them on request.
The Scoplaw Blawg isn't a dirty little secret or anything. However, I had originally asked people, when they were posting on the internet, to try to keep my name mostly dissociated with the blawg in an effort to stave off prejudice by possible employers.
(While I wouldn't negatively judge someone unfamiliar with blogging for being a bit nervous with it, on the other hand, I simply didn't want to have the trite this-is-not-unmediated-biography-from-a-compulsive-sharer-and-yes-I-can-keep-inappropriate-topics-off- the-blog conversation yet again.)
My goal was never pure anonymity, but rather to try to keep my identity and the Scoplaw blawg googlenonymous (a wonderful neologism by Neo Tokyo Times, a NYU blawgger, and a fav. read of mine).
Most of the time it worked, but with Google swooping in and indexing and archiving when people inadvertently used my real name, it was only a matter of time before I was easily found. And, given that I was most concerned about people who knew little of me jumping from a Google search on my name to the blog. . .well, the horses are well and gone.
However, I'd still like to stick to the following ground rules :
- There are confidentiality issues. Please do not use anyone else's real name without their express permission or, unless, like my friend Seth Abramson for example, they also blog and comment under their real name. If you violate this rule, I’ll be deleting your comment or, at least editing out the name.
- I’m not going to write salacious things about my clients (in fact, due to ground rule 1, I’ll probably write little or nothing about them specifically, although I may comment on “types” of situations we see, in an effort to let people know what this job is like, and how the legal system “is” for the indigent). I will not salacious things about the office, or the judges I’m in front of, or the court personnel. I'm unsure about the prosecutors. (Just kidding.) If *you* want to see those things in print, by all means blog about them, but don’t use my comment fields to do so. If you do, I’ll be deleting your comment or, at least editing out the name. I may banyour access to the blog as well.
- Please feel free to raise any factual issues or counter-points that do not implicate rules 1 or 2. Disagreement is cool. I like it.
- Feel free to use any amount strong language on those issues you feel passionately about; however profane and/or substances diatribes directed at myself or other non-public figures will be most likely deleted prior to my banning you from commenting. Or I could just make fun of them before banning you. I do that sometimes.
- As you may have guessed from the above, the blog is a private publication. I have (and will) restricted access to those who can’t play nice.
- Because "we write what we know," if you’re reading the blog there’s a chance you may see "yourself" (disguised via moniker, hopefully indiscoverable as yourself, distorted by point 7 below) on these pages. If you're uncomfortable with your moniker, or if you want to be CATEGORICALLY UNBLOGABLE simply write me at firstname.lastname@example.org (or any other valid email address you may have for me) and LET ME KNOW. I will not take offense, and I will delete any reference to you. That brings me to the issue of truthfulness.
- The easiest way to say this is: I lie on the blog. It’s more in the realm of literature. It is not UNMEDIATED FACTUAL OR BIOGRAPHIC REPORTING. If reference to anything appears on the blog, IT MAY NOT BE TRUE. Do not rely on anything you read here.
- Deal with number 7. This gets it own number.
- To explain number 7, I’m a writer as well as a (some-J.D.-post-bar/pre-oath-limbo-something). What I’d like to do with the blog is to create a record of my experiences and tell a few stories along the way. Often those stories here, like all stories, are distorted for various reasons. However, given the nature of blogging, I also deliberately distort things. I may want to protect someone’s identity, I may want to skip extraneous details and get to the heart of something, I may combine several stories or scenarios to give readers a flavor for what some sort of “typical” experience is, so on, so forth. Poets lie to tell the truth. Which is why Plato gave us the boot from the Republic.
If anyone is curious, I wrote about why I blog awhile ago. http://scoplaw.blogs.com/scoplaw/2005/02/what_it_means_t.html
I think most of that still holds true.