Friday, April 28, 2006

Blogging Prosecutor Scolded

A San Francisco associate on loan to the DA's office posted comments on his personal blog about a misdemeanor case he was handling. After the posts circulated around the DA's office, the temporary prosecutor resigned his assignment because "it was just not a comfortable environment to be in any more." Then the judge heard about it. Although he did not grant the defense motion to dismiss the case, the judge called the lawyer's conduct "juvenile, obnoxious and unprofessional." - Judge Reprimands Temp Prosecutor for Personal Blog.

The lawyer's remarks included calling defense counsel "chicken" for asking for a continuance, using some obscenities, and mentioning a prior conviction of the defendant's that had not been ruled admissible at trial.

None of [the lawyer's] blogging amounted to a constitutional violation of the defendant's rights, [Judge] Karnow concluded, because [he] wasn't trying to interfere with the defendant's relationship with his attorney and didn't actually end up doing so.

"The issue of intent is of central importance," Karnow wrote. "Such thoughts were far from mind: He sought only to celebrate himself, tout his prowess and to preen his own feathers, as it were, unconscious of other effect."

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