Lawyers “Unsettled” By Clients’ Arguing Cases On The Web


Supporters of Texas death-row inmate Gregory Wright argue his case on a new Web site,, says the National Law Journal. Criminal defendants and their backer who use the Internet to advance their cases are making their own attorneys uncomfortable. Attorney Bruce Anton of Dallas, who represents Wright, opposes such Web sites, but says he cannot prohibit clients and their supporters from having them. “A Web site can be a two-edged sword,” he said. “On the plus side, publicity about a case can help bring in additional investigation funds and support outside the legal community, but it can be a problem when something posted on a Web site can be inferred to be an official statement from the defendant.”

Lawyers are unsettled at the thought of clients and well-meaning supporters, unsophisticated in the subtleties of criminal law practice, creating Web sites and blogs to post sensitive information and creating their own theories of what happened and why. Cynthia Hujar Orr, a San Antonio criminal-defense lawyer, said, “Laypeople are not as sensitive to how little it might take to waive the attorney-client privilege For instance, a comment like ‘I was acting on legal advice’ can raise that issue.”


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