When I started this blog, it was also with the intent to remain anonymous aside from a few friends and family. That went by the wayside when a co-worker and friend blabbed about my blog to some other co-workers. (L - chill, you know I'm just poking at you.) Then, in a fit of insanity, I wrote a guest post for a rather popular blog on WashingtonPost.com under my real name, and they linked it to my blog.
Hell, many of you know my real name and where I work because I tend to reply to comments from my work email address. Actually, the only reason my real name does not appear on this blog is fear of The Google. I really don't want a prospective client to type my name into Google and have this be the first link. If someone is dedicated enough to find my blog with my real name and Google, it will take them a while to get there and they will be forced to slog through many of my professional publications to get there. If someone finds my blog after all that work, I'm perfectly OK with that.
But still, there is one line I will not cross. (Well, actually there are a few, but this is not a post about sex. Sorry to disappoint.)
I do not discuss the law.
It may come as a disappointment to people who click on a link to my blog expecting a "legal blog" but, despite my blog name, I will never focus on the law. Don't get me wrong, I would love to show off my legal brain here. The law is one thing I feel very confident discussing. But my little area of the law would either bore you to death or send you screaming from my URL, deleting your Favorites link on your way out the door. I've mentioned my area of expertise here before but, because of The Google, I'm not going to repeat it. Let's just say that it involves a lot of paper, some drawings, and people fighting over what those papers and drawings mean.
I've been tempted to offer my legal analysis of some important and very public cases lately. Particularly when the latest abortion case came down from the Supremes. I even wrote a rather lengthy post dissecting it and discussing past precedent.
It's still sitting in my post list in draft form.
Why the paranoia, you ask?
Well, first of all there are some pretty detailed ethical rules for lawyers regarding advertising and what constitutes an advertisement, and the rules vary in every state in the U.S. I'd rather just steer clear of that stuff entirely and not worry about it. But my primary reason for the legal ban is that I don't want to get into legal pissing matches on the Internet.
Seriously, that's it. I do that at work every single day. I don't want to do that here. And if I write about abortion, or civil rights, or even employment rights, someone is going to try to draw me into a pissing match. And I have a really hard time backing down from a fight.
I was reminded of why I don't write about the law here after my post about Altoids and pregnancy hormones. I just mentioned that I was going to be on Kristin's Blog Talk Radio show and someone started taking pot shots at me. Someone who knew nothing about me, my practice, or even my real name, and, I would hazard a guess, didn't listen to Kristin's show.
I wasn't quite sure why someone writing about me bothered me so much. It wasn't the disagreement with my opinion; I could give two shits about that. It wasn't even necessarily the questioning of my legal ethics, because, come. on. Ridiculous implications are still just ridiculous implications.
No, what bothered me was the reminder that there are so many strangers reading this blog.
Now, I know that everyone who comments here regularly was once a "stranger." I would never password protect my blog because I love finding new blogs. I've discovered so many wonderful insightful bloggers out there because someone happened to stop by my blog and leave a comment, or just appeared in my Blog Log over there in the side bar.
I also know that I have friends, co-workers and family stopping by and they don't usually comment. I have my fair share of people who arrive here through bizarre Google searches about spanking and Snow White. I'm also sure that there are people who read my blog and don't comment because they either don't have blogs, or they just don't comment anywhere. That doesn't bother me. No, what gives me pause is the idea that someone would come here, read my blog, not participate, and then go blog about me, and not necessarily in a "You go, girl" kind of way. Blogging negatively about another blogger? That would just never occur to me.
So maybe someone can tell me what motivates people to do that? Because it's really making me think twice about how I want to use this blog and what I want to say here.
I'm not going to stop blogging because of a troll or two. But I would hate to get to the point where I have to change my voice here to keep my sanity.
Of course, now that I have proclaimed my steadfast rule that Lawyer Mama Shall Never Blogeth About The Law, I will now briefly suspend that rule. Because I am the queen here and I can do what I want.
During the first 20 minutes or so of Kristin's show, there were some technical problems. Consequently, my brilliant (and I use the term brilliant loosely) legal analysis and some hilarious comments from the Queen of Shake Shake are missing from the podcast. So here's the 30 second run down of the good news and the bad news for those who may accidentally run afoul of the law in New Jersey:
1. The New Jersey shoplifting statute requires a person to act purposely, with intent to deprive a retailer of property.
2. However, being caught with said property by a law enforcement officer establishes intent.
So if a ducky accidentally falls into a stroller, there is no purposeful act and no intent and, therefore, no "shoplifting." But if someone pushing the stroller is tackled by a security officer, and a search of the stroller reveals said ducky, the person pushing the stroller is screwed. Unless there is a helpful surveillance camera film or something.
That's it. That's what all the fuss was about.
Now, I'm off to turn myself into my state bar for encouraging all of you to commit crimes.
And seriously, if you think I'm offering you legal advice or that this has established an attorney-client relationship, you're an idiot and you shouldn't be reading my blog. If so, slap yourself in the forehead. Right now! Oh, and I'd like to sell you a bridge in Brooklyn.
Cartoon courtesy of "Microdoc News" (out of business) by way of Google Blogoscoped.