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Updates: Seidel Subpoena Quashed; The Perils of BWD (Blogging While Divorcing)

Here's an update on two stories that we covered here this past month.  First, there's good news for autism blogger Kathleen Seidel who was hit with a subpoena by plaintiffs attorney Clifford Shoemaker, seeking disclosure of her research sources, financial records and communications with other bloggers in a lawsuit alleging that defendant Bayer's vaccine caused the plaintiff's autism.  Seidel was not a party to the suit -- but one of her blog posts listing the monetary awards that Shoemaker recovered in other vaccine litigation provoked him to issue the subpoena.  Today, New York Personal Injury Lawyer Eric Turkewitz reports that the magistrate quashed the subpoena and issued a Show Cause Order as to why sanctions should not be imposed.  Could the huge list of outraged bloggers criticizing Shomeaker's actions have had any impact on the magistrate's decision to issue the show cause order?

And on another topic, divorce lawyers may have more to worry about than a loose-lipped client who airs dirty laundry about a spouse on YouTube, a story that I posted about last week.  Besides YouTube, there's also the problem of divorcing spouses who blog and podcast, as this recent New York Times story describes.  The article mentions at least two lawsuits where a spouse has sued an ex over a Web site or podcast that allegedly contains defamatory or offensive information.  Judges have dismissed the suits, holding that the First Amendment prevails -- which has forced lawyers whose clients are on the receiving end of venomous publications to devise measures to protect them.  One divorce attorney, Deborah Lans, routinely includes a confidentiality provision in her divorce agreements that forbids either party from publishing even fictionalized accounts of the marriage.

Posted by Carolyn Elefant on April 22, 2008 at 04:22 PM | Permalink | Comments (0)


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