Beware the comments section

Half of it’s nonsense, and the other half is more nonsense.

Tony Abbatangelo, referring to blog comments in the course of responding to a defamation suit filed against his client, an anonymous internet commenter known only as “Lawyer.”

(What are the salacious comments that “Lawyer” is being sued over? Find out, after the jump.)

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “Quote of the Day: That Doesn’t Exactly Make Sense, Either”

Sometimes silence is golden.

The executive editor of the New York Times, Jill Abramson — who once worked as a legal journalist, for Steve Brill at the American Lawyer — recently issued A Note to Our Readers About Comments, in which she explained various changes to the Times’s commenting system. We thought we’d follow in the Gray Lady’s footsteps and announce a tweak of our own to the Above the Law comments.

Comments and online anonymity are hot topics right now, both here and abroad (e.g., India). Writer Katie Roiphe just mused about the angry anonymous commenter. Privacy lawyer Christopher Wolf recently argued, in the New York Times, that websites should “consider requiring either the use of real names (or registration with the online service) in circumstances, such as the comments section for news articles, where the benefits of anonymous posting are outweighed by the need for greater online civility.” Many Times readers disagreed, defending the value and importance of anonymous speech online.

In light of these conflicting concerns — civility, privacy, free expression — let’s turn our attention to the ATL comments….

double red triangle arrows Continue reading “A Note to Our Readers About Comments”

Judge William Adams

* Remember Judge William Adams, the Texas state court judge who was reportedly videotaped in the act of beating his daughter, Hillary Adams? He has now commented on the situation (and so has his ex-wife, Hallie Adams). [KZTV.com]

* And here is Kashmir Hill’s take on the whole sad situation. [Not-So Private Parts / Forbes]

* Members of the law review at GW Law School have issued a comment on the recent email controversy — which is impressive! (Aside: lighten up, guys; it’s all in good fun.) [Nota Bene]

* FYI, if you have problems with anonymous comments here at Above the Law, you should know that we’re having an internal discussion about possibly changing our system. [What About Clients?]

* Beating a dead horse isn’t illegal. Doing what this woman did to a dead horse isn’t illegal. Sucks to be a dead horse. [Daily Mail]

* Our friend Joseph Rakofsky makes it into the Urban Dictionary. [The Trial Warrior; Legal Skills Prof Blog]

* Says Elie: “Some say WVU’s lawsuit against the Big East reflects ‘arrogance.’ The real arrogance is how Notre Dame refuses to come in and save the conference.” [Legal Blitz]

* Swordplay: it’s all fun and games until someone’s intestines spill out of his abdomen. [CBS 3 - Springfield]

From Morning Docket:

Welcome to Above the Law’s telephone message service. This service is for people who do not have internet access from their cellular phones. Comments made through this system will be placed randomly in each thread, because really, who gives a s**t anymore?

To make a “TTT” accusation, press 1.
To make a cutting remark about about Elie Mystal’s poor grammar and/or obesity, press 2.
To make a gay joke about David Lat, press 3.
To sexually harass Kashmir Hill, press 4.
To make an angry, incoherent comment about “liberals”, press 5.
To make an outrageously bigoted remark you wouldn’t dare make in public, press 6.
To make a comment which betrays your ignorance of history, economics, or whatever other subject is being discussed, press 7.
To post a random, unrelated news story, press 8, or just go to Fark.com or something.

To make a witty, reasoned, well-informed comment, please remain on the line; an operator will be with you shortly. While you wait, you may want to philosophically examine your current life, with specific focus on why you continue to associate with the people who pressed 1 through 8.

Bravo, Anonymous Coward. And a reminder to our readers to enter the comments section at their own risk (though there are some gems there, such as this one).