Wednesday, July 28, 2004

Blogging of litigation, a page from Pravda?

Blogging allows rapid accessibility to information, but the accuracy still needs to be confirmed.

derived from The National Law Journal:

Running the Oracle trial Web log is Gary Reback of Palo Alto, Calif.'s Carr & Ferrell, who represents PeopleSoft Inc., the object of Oracle's hostile takeover that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is trying to block in the antitrust proceeding. At his client's request, Reback is "blogging" the proceeding, sitting in the trial all day, taking notes, and filing an account on PeopleSoft's corporate Web site.

"Perhaps I can give some balance to Oracle's artful spin," Reback writes at the start of the blog, titled "View from the Court."

The flip side is bias. "It's like getting your news from Pravda," Oracle lawyer Dan Wall said in a phone interview last week, after the bench trial ended. A decision from U.S. District Judge Vaughn Walker is expected in the next two months.

"One of the powerful things about Web logs and the quick and easy publishing they enable is the ability to write precisely what it is you think needs saying," said Reed Smith's Howell. "This is attractive to any litigant or lawyer who has lamented being misquoted, taken out of context, or cut by the mainstream media."


Although the information is available, the effectiveness of a blog depends on both the extent of dissemination and the amount of credibility. If the information circulates only to a small group of insiders, who cares? Even with greater circulation, if there is a perception of one-sidedness, the impact will be compromised. Nevertheless, as Leon Trotsky recognized in the History of the Russian Revolution, events sometimes can best be recounted by insiders to the action.


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