Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Louisiana lawyer retracts threat of ethics charges against blogger/attorney

Kathy Kelly, the Louisiana criminal defense attorney who threatened to file bar ethics charges against California prosecutor and blogger Patrick "Patterico" Frey for contacting a witness in a death penalty case she is handling, has retracted her threat and admitted she was wrong:
To Mr. Frey, Regarding my comments as Mr. Duncan’s counsel this past Sunday. Do I regret it “Yes”. Does it appear I was wrong “Yes”. My intent was not to harm your reputation but I had concerns on protecting my client’s right to a fair hearing. I acted rashly without thinking about it first.

I’m willing to admit that I was wrong on implying you committed any type of ethic violations. Being criticized on blog sites doesn’t bother me. I agree with the fact it was foolish. My only hesitation on posting anything on your blog is that it will only continue to focus attention on me and continue this instead of ending it. The focus should be on Mr. Duncan’s case not me. I will not read or post any more comments on your site.
Good for Ms. Kelly. Frey's response: "Fair enough. Let us speak of it no more."

The lesson, I hope, from all of this: attorney/bloggers don't give up their First Amendment rights to write and report just because they happen have bar cards (except, perhaps, in the narrow instance where they blog about their own cases).

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