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Denise Howell is a seasoned appellate and intellectual property litigator based in Los Angeles. Denise writes one of the first and most popular law-related blogs, Bag and Baggage, coined the term "blawg" and helped pioneer podcasting for lawyers. Microcontent obsessed since 2001, she is frequently quoted in the media on legal issues involving intellectual property and technology law. "Sound Policy" is Denise's show at IT Conversations, and it's also what she hopes results from the briefs she submits to court. Email Denise at

Dennis Kennedy is a computer lawyer and legal technology expert based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author, a frequent speaker and a widely-read blogger, he has more than 300 publications on legal, technology and Internet topics, many of which are collected in his e-books. Dennis has been described as someone who knows almost every rock song in existence and, more importantly, how they apply to technology and law. Email Dennis at his gmail address.

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator at Cowles & Thompson in Dallas. He has published the Internet Legal Research Weekly newsletter since 2000 and blogged about the Internet and legal technology at Inter Alia since August of 2002. With Tom's singing, Ernie on guitar and Dennis' encylopedic knowledge of rock music, we may have the beginnings of a good band, if this whole blog thing doesn't work out. Email Tom at

Marty Schwimmer left a partnership in the largest trademark practice in the world and founded Schwimmer Mitchell, a full-service IP micro-boutique in Westchester County, New York, where he represents owners of famous and not yet famous trademarks. He founded The Trademark Blog, the first IP law blog and the one with the most pictures. He is the first to come in and the last to leave in his firm. Email Marty at

Ernest Svenson practices law with a mid-sized law firm in New Orleans, specializing in business-related lawsuits. Most of his practice takes place in federal court, especially the Eastern District. He is best known for his weblog Ernie the Attorney, which he started as an experiment. Like many experiments it got out of control. Nevertheless, he continues to practice law and, occasionally, to seek enlightenment. Email Ernest at
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Between Lawyers provides just-in-time group commentary on the issues raised when technology, culture and the law intersect. We take you behind the firewalls and conference room doors to show you how experienced lawyers deal with these issues and help you prepare for the new challenges we all face. For more, see our introductory post.
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March 28, 2005

Blogging Policy: Well, Blogging Is A Little Different

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Posted by Marty Schwimmer

I'm not sure that blogging policy falls squarely under technology use policy, it seems more a species of communications and firm image policy.

I agree that with your main point: there's no good reason why the over-riding content principle of a firm's communications policy that applies to attorneys' other forms of communication would or should apply differently to a blog. Often that policy is going to be: submit to prior review or make sure our name doesn't appear on it (point to discuss later - can a firm effectively disassociate itself from an employee's blog - for example, do people (correctly) perceive that Scobelizer is not a Microsoft blog?).

Assuming a firm is going to allow blogging, it wouldn't hurt if the firm gave pointers, Blogging is different from, for example, a prepared article or speech. For one thing, similar to press interviews, the reduced proofing time creates a greater likelihood of mis-statement and error.

It wouldn't be so horrible if there were guidelines to minimize disasters between firm and blogger, and between blogger and the world. Got any?

Comments (2) | Category: Blogging Policies


1. Ernie on March 28, 2005 2:46 PM writes...

I think you and Dennis are right that 'blogging policy' should be part of a larger overall set of corporate guidelines (be it 'technology' or 'communications'). I share Dennis' concern that the firms that are most interested in creating these guidelines are the ones that are newest to the 'blog phenomenon' and in many cases to the larger 'internet phenomenon.'

I suspect there are no one-size-fits-all blog guidelines. And I suspect that in many cases the blogging guidelines that do get crafted will be used mostly to decree that corporate communications should be very limited, albeit in a legalistic and harrumphy-sounding way. These days, many corporate guidelines are intended to 'give fair warning' rather than designed to enable people to act more effectively. But a fair warning is a useful thing in deciding how to act. Or, *whether* to act.

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2. Rob Hyndman on March 28, 2005 4:28 PM writes...

I wonder whether a comparative review of corporate technology use policies would tell us anything about the corporate cultures from which they come?

My sense is that these policies are really about transmitting culture (or not, as the case may be) and not really about managing risk.

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