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About The Conference On Law School Bloggership Of Harvard Law School Was Highly Appreciated And About Legal Blogging, Sexual Congress, Law Blogosphere.

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									INSIDE LEGAL BLOGS AND CHAT BOARDS                                                                                                  1. 800. 973.1177

                             Inside Legal Blogs
                             [By Jeff]
                             It seems like just last week when I last came to you with tidings of comfort and joy from the ever-expanding law blogo-
                             sphere. Apparently, that wasn’t good enough for you, so I’m back again with a suitcase full of blog.

The highly anticipated Harvard Law School            President, the immigration debate, the war,          of threats of…loss of employment in case
Bloggership Conference is now over. I wasn’t         or whatever—you may find yourself in trouble         such employees should support or become
able to participate in the conference, as I had      with your boss. Should your boss find your           affiliated with any particular political faction or
to be in Rochester, New York, for my nephew’s        Internet activities to be potentially offensive      organization, or participate in political activities
bris. But that’s okay because Ann Althouse was       or alienating to clients or damaging to the          of any nature or character....
live-blogging from the conference, and reading       company, you could be disciplined or fired. The
her blog reports from last week is almost as         esteemed Volokh Conspiracy posted an article         S.C. Code Ann. § 6-7-560: Whoever
good as being there. Concurring Opinions has         about how California, South Carolina, and            shall…[discharge from employment] any citizen
a cool summary of everything that went down,         Louisiana are protecting bloggers and Internet       because of political opinions or the exercise
but that’s still not concise enough for me.          chatters from reprisal by their employers.           of political rights and privileges guaranteed
If it can’t be distilled into one easy-to-skim                                                            to every citizen of the United States by the
sentence, it’s not worth paying attention to.        The pertinent legislation is as follows (courtesy    Constitution…thereof…shall be guilty of a
Here is my extra-concise breakdown of the            of Volokh):                                          misdemeanor [and subject to civil liability]….
                                                     Cal. Labor Code § 0: No employer shall            This is different from saying something
PANEL                                               make, adopt, or enforce any rule, regulation, or     libelous online. Obviously, if you say your boss
Blogging is fun.                                     policy: (a) Forbidding or preventing employees       engages in sexual congress with ostriches, it’s
                                                     from engaging or participating in politics or        different from saying some public figure, such
                                                     from becoming candidates for public office. (b)      as the President, engages in sexual congress
Blogging can be academic sometimes.
                                                     Controlling or directing, or tending to control      with ostriches. If you don’t live in California,
                                                     or direct the political activities.                  South Carolina or Louisiana, you might land
                                                                                                          in trouble for writing things your boss doesn’t
Freedom of speech.
                                                     Cal. Labor Code § 02: No employer shall…           agree with on the Internet. Of course, even if
PANEL 4                                              attempt to coerce or influence his employees         you do live in those states, you could still wind
Start blogging.                                      through or by means of threat of discharge           up in hot water. Volokh’s assessment points
                                                     ... to adopt or follow or refrain from adopting      out that each individual jurisdiction determines
That’s pretty much it, except the real               or following any particular course or line of        what constitutes “political action” and that
conference lasted nearly nine hours. Actually,       political action or political activity.              anything you say that is directly damaging to
some good points were raised about how fun                                                                the company can still get you canned.
and breezy blogs can make good companion             La. Rev. Stat. § 23:96: [N]o employer having
pieces to long boring law review articles. Eric      regularly in his employ twenty or more               In terms of speaking out about the President,
Goldman, in his Bloggership Conference recap,        employees shall make…or enforce any…                 recent trends have shown that the latitude
quotes one speaker who drew the analogy that         policy…preventing any of his employees from…         granted in criticizing the executive branch is
blogs are to scholarship as music videos are         participating in politics, or from becoming          inversely proportional to his approval ratings.
to movies. Despite the blog lovefest, there do       a candidate for public office…[nor] adopt or         When his approval ratings were up, you could
remain some dangers inherent to blogging.            enforce any…policy which will…tend to control        get kicked out of the mall for wearing an
                                                     or direct the political activities or affiliations   anti-Bush shirt. Now that his ratings have
If you go on the Internet and write something        of his employees, nor…attempt to coerce              dipped, they’ve finally let the Dixie Chicks out
controversial—whether it involves the                or influence any of his employees by means           of Guantanamo Bay.

PAGE                                                                                                                                      continued on back
INSIDE LEGAL BLOGS AND CHAT BOARDS                                                                                          1.800. 973. 1177

From the blawg gossip department, it seems         be on ethical thin ice. Schaeffer wrote in his    Big ups to everybody out there making it
that the feud between Ben Cowgill of Ben           blog that Cowgill was making a big deal out of    happen on the law blogosphere. Next week,
Cowgill on Legal Ethics and Evan Schaeffer of      nothing. Even Ben Cowgill gets the blues. After   we will be discussing matters of impending
Evan Schaeffer’s Legal Underground is over at      some sniping back and forth, the two patched      urgency for all law bloggers and a few stray
long last. We previously reported a rift between   things up. They even developed a mutual           items of no importance to anyone. Be there!
the two, stemming from a disagreement over         referring network. It’s nice to see those two
the ethical ramifications of ghostwritten blogs.   kids back together. After Heather Locklear
Cowgill warned that members of the LexBlog         and Richie Sambora broke up, I started to lose
network who pay for prefabricated blogs may        faith.


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