The Boston Globe reported yesterday on a pediatrician blogger who scotched his defense in a malpractice suit by blogging about it. (link to full story in title above) Globe writer Jonathan Saltzman reported that the plaintiff's attorney extracted a confession that the defendant was the blogger called "Flea" (a nickname for pediatrican interns).
In his blog, Flea had ridiculed the plaintiff's case and the plaintiff's lawyer. He had revealed the defense strategy. He had accused members of the jury of dozing.We bloggers need to keep in mind that the whole world can see our blogs, and that they form a permanent record of our blathering. And sometimes, we don't know how the writing that we produce for the audience we know may strike others in a completely unexpected way!
With the jury looking on in puzzlement, Lindeman admitted that he was, in fact, Flea.
The next morning, on May 15, he agreed to pay what members of Boston's tight-knit legal community describe as a substantial settlement -- case closed.
I blogged about my philosophy on employee discipline and termination on OOTJ. This is something that is always difficult, and I fall back on a teaching from a Jesuit friend, based on the Spiritual Exercises of St. Ignatius. Then, I heard that my post had generated a huge level of buzz and uproar in my own library. People were speculating on whom I was preparing to axe! I was speaking in general terms, but people where I work took my post as a signal of specific intention. I took down the post and some time later replaced it with a much less effective, general musing on life philosophy and how it could affect your work activities (link).
I learned the hard way that blogs can bite back. Perhaps the only safe blogging is the sort my dog does on his daily walk. But maybe even that carries meaning beyond what the dog was considering!