November 16, 2005

"We have free speech too, don't we?"

Judge Posner asks, rhetorically, ruing the demise of Article III Groupie:
"If he does it on his own time and does not compromise his official duties in some way, I don't see the problem," the judge said in an e-mail message. "We have free speech too, don't we?

"If Lat appears before judges whom he's made fun of in his blog or who may be offended by the blog (the humorless judges), then there might be a problem, though only a problem if he is 'outed' - and he outed himself!"

Counting on other people to have a sense of humor is a very dangerous business.

9 comments:

Jacques Cuze said...

Don't I know it!

Paul said...

Well, if they Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals can make fools of themselves and provide us with a lot of laughs, why can't he?

PatCA said...

Of course he has free speech, but isn't this tantamount to gossiping verbally about judges? If you want to represent your client well, gossiping is usually thought of as something you shouldn't do.

An attorney I knew made a very sarcastic and sometimes funny speech about court personnel at a bar dinner once, and the judges were rightly insulted. I don't know if that hurt his clients, but it could have.

Dave said...

"sense of humor"?

What does that mean? Is that a legal term of art?

Goesh said...

It is gratifying to see that the blog was thoroughly enjoyed - puts a good, human face on them all..real people with tough jobs being able to laugh at themselves and each other

brylin said...

As an infrequent reader of Underneath Their Robes, it is clear to me that the Justice Department told their employee to choose between the blog or the job. It's disappointing but not unexpected once Mr. Lat's identity became public, because a federal bureaucracy has no sense of humor. In a way it reminds me of the flight attendant who was fired for having a blog.

Adam said...

I have no sympathy for Mr. Lat -- he chose fame, and there are consequences to that.

I blog about a lot of things, but never anything that has to do with my work.

Chris O'Brien said...

"Counting on other people to have a sense of humor is a very dangerous business"

Truely an awesome quote by the way. Applicable in many situations, pithy, funny yet deadly serious. I shall use it many times over and claim it as my own.

ATMX said...

I have to wonder if he wanted to stop the blog. He should have known that the DOJ would not take kindly to public gossiping and snarky commentary about federal judges by federal prosecutors.

Or maybe he took a gamble, because he just had to have the world know that he was the author of this blog.