Legal Ethics

Lawyer's request for reprimand over her own Web comments nixed by top state court

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The Georgia Supreme Court has nixed a lawyer’s voluntary request for discipline over an Internet posting that admittedly revealed confidential client information.

In a Monday order (PDF), the court noted that other jurisdictions have disciplined attorneys for posting confidential information about clients on the Internet and didn’t rule out the possibility that Georgia might do so, too. However, it said the record was not sufficiently established to impose the requested reprimand in this case.

Mitigating factors, the court noted, included the longtime practitioner’s remorse, the fact that she had reimbursed the client’s attorney’s fee and personal problems she was facing at the time, including the death of both parents. She put the material up on the Internet in response to critical comments made by a former client on consumer websites.

But the court found the record in the disciplinary case lacking: “Among other things,” the order says, “we note that the record does not reflect the nature of the disclosures (except that they concern personal and confidential information) or the actual or potential harm to the client as a result of the disclosures.”

Hat tip: Legal Profession Blog.

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