Thursday, May 31, 2007

Bad idea of the week: blogging during your malpractice trial

Apparently, if you are a pediatrician being sued for malpractice over the death of a 12-year-old patient, blogging about the trial is not the way to go:

It was a Perry Mason moment updated for the Internet age...

Was Lindeman Flea?

Flea, jurors in the case didn't know, was the screen name for a blogger who had written often and at length about a trial remarkably similar to the one that was going on in the courtroom that day.

In his blog, Flea had ridiculed the plaintiff's case and the plaintiff's lawyer. He had revealed the defense strategy. He had accused members of the jury of dozing.

With the jury looking on in puzzlement, Lindeman admitted that he was, in fact, Flea.

The next morning, on May 15, he agreed to pay what members of Boston's tight-knit legal community describe as a substantial settlement -- case closed.

The opposing lawyer was the one to discover that the doctor she was suing was none other than the anonymous Flea:

Elizabeth N. Mulvey, the lawyer who represented Vinroy and Deborah Binns and unmasked Lindeman as Flea, said she laughed when she read a posting at the start of the trial in which Lindeman nicknamed her Carissa Lunt, noticed that she bit her fingernails and mused, "Wonder if she's a pillow biter, too?"

Classy. No wonder the guy couldn't wait to settle. Somehow I don't think that sort of thing would play well with the jury.

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