Lawcast 150: US lawyer Dan Hull of Whataboutclients? on anonymity and blogging.

Lawcast 150: US lawyer Dan Hull of Whataboutclients? on anonymity and blogging.

Today, in my 150th podcast, I am talking to US Lawyer, fellow blogger and friend Dan Hull, co-founder with Julie McGuire of Hull Mcguire PC and founder of the WhatAboutClients? Blog which on Saturdays turns into the WhatAboutParis blog.

Dan and some other leading US law bloggers have had it with anonymity and they are refusing to publish comments unless you stand up to the plate using a real first name, real second name and a verifiable email address.

It is fair to say that Dan Hull, Rob Bodine and Holden Oliver from Whataboutclients?  started the ball rolling on this anonymity issue on the other side of the Atlantic – and his thoughts are being adopted and developed by others. He believes the legal internet (and wider internet) needs a few rules – non-anonymous blogging being one of them… subject to exceptions.

Mark Bennett from Texas, author of Defending People who did a podcast with me some time ago has already intitiated this policy…WhatAboutClients? notes… Texans are quirky Americans. Internet handles like Law Gringo, Smokestack Lightning and Young Cardozo Speaks won’t cut it with them. We also look at the recession in the US/UK, and the issue of blogging generally. Geeklawyer, Scottgreenfield, Mark Bennett and a few other blogging luminaries are mentioned!

Listen to the podcast
(It is a fairly long podcast – you may want to have an ‘interlude’!

Podcast version for iTunes

6 thoughts on “Lawcast 150: US lawyer Dan Hull of Whataboutclients? on anonymity and blogging.

  1. ‘Dan and some other leading US law bloggers have had it with anonymity and they are refusing to publish comments unless you stand up to the plate using a real first name, real second name and a verifiable email address.’

    Quite right.

    Barrack.Obama@whitehouse.gov

  2. James C – I am quite happy to have anonymous posters – provided they aren’t libellous or abusive to others… well, apart from government etc etc… which is our Constitutional right no matter who is in power !

  3. Well maybe, GL–but why do you care?

    Mainly I am embarrassed by the poor quality, and low integrity of so much of the Net dialogue, much of it in America. Nameless writing encourages dishonesty and mediocrity. You, sir, have your mega-exemption–and always have with me. It’s deserved. Not to worry.

    Brits and Europeans don’t worry me that much. But much of the U.S. blogosphere is beneath you and me both, GL. Many nameless U.S. commenters have strong opinions which are certainly not inflammatory–but who wants to read what they think? Who cares? It’s graffiti. If you merely have a strong opinion–but no name to go with it–I can safely assume that you are very ashamed–or at least very afraid–of something. And you have much less of an incentive to think or write well. You put nothing on the line. Making anonymity generally “a bad thing” is simply quality control–and a way to cut down on the digital equivalent of mental patients, drunks and street people clogging the sidewalks.

    I would like a lively and even profane neighborhood–but one with stand-up people. Generally speaking, nameless people do not deserve anyone’s respect, time or attention–and many of them merit your contempt. Maybe it’s a boomer thing. I’d like to see a digital culture in which nameless pundits are presumptively looked down upon. Hence, Club Ned.

    (Besides, it’s helpful to have names, of course, if you want to sue someone for defamation. Our software and other resources do seem to lead us to anyone who comments. Personally, however, when I am preparing a complaint, previously-anonymous defendants with no privilege to be anonymous just aggravate me and mine, and increase the settlement value. It puts us in a bad mood for the whole proceeding. And juries hate only child molesters more. )

    WAC and its writers have thick skin, and especially love profanity. As lawyers, we have heard and seen it all. We savor brutality as you do. But as matters now stand much of the Internet is low quality and spineless trash. It has emboldened anonymous cretins and nameless ne’er do wells. Enough is enough. Life is too short to listen to people who preemptively discount themselves.

    If the movement gains no traction at all? A promise: I will happily quit blogging and confine my views to mainstream media and print journals. That would be fine.

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