It’s funny how one can be in the news without actually being in the news. As mentioned earlier today, the New York Times ran a story about “Sotomayor & Associates” and the fact that she didn’t have any actual associates. I wrote that story up back on June 4th, and it’s laid mostly dormant since then.
But when the Times failed to credit me with having found this item as they furthered the investigation, other bloggers took notice and the issue of journalistic ethics reared its head.
To my new readers (at least for a day), I welcome you. If you want to know more of the types of stuff I write about here, and whether this obscure little blog should be part of your RSS feed, you can skim this “best of” piece.
Welcome to readers of those that follow (and my thanks to their authors for the inbound links). I’ll update this later with further links should the story be of interest to others:
- Glenn Reynolds @ Instapundit
- Scott Greenfield @ Simple Justice with a long and gracious post (Credit is a Two Way Street) that includes this lede:
Judge Richard Posner recently suggested an extreme solution to the potential death of the newspaper. Using the argument that there’s no reason to buy the cow when you can get the milk for free, Posner urged the expansion of copyright law to “bar online access to copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, or to bar linking to or paraphrasing copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent.” In other words, burn blogs to save newspapers.
But this assumes, as Posner does, that its only blogs that free-ride off the newsgathering efforts of “legitimate” media. While this is certainly the predominant flow, it’s not always the case, as was clear today when the New York Times published a story about Sonia Sotomayor’s foray into private practice under the name “Sotomayor and Associates.” It was a wonderful piece of investigative journalism, but for one detail. The news was unearthed not by the Times, but by blawger Eric Turkewitz at New York Personal Injury Attorney Blog…[more]
- Prof David Wgner @ Ninomania:
Did Sotomayor violate a well-established bar rule in calling her solo practice in 1983-6 “Sotomayor & Associates” when evidence suggests it was just herself helping family and friends via a home practice?
- John Steele @ Legal Ethics Forum:
A solo cannot describe his or her practice with the phrase “and Associates” if in fact there are no associates there. It’s false and misleading. [more]
- Jim Lindgren @ Volokh Conspiracy: A multi-state look at the use of “and Associates” in the name of a solo practice
- William Dyer @ Beldarblog: …it doesn’t take a sophisticated legal analysis for anyone, lawyer or layman, to recognize that claiming to be “Sotomayor & Associates” — when you really don’t have any associates — is stupid and misleading [more at “Sotomayor & Associates” … meh, who cares?]
- DRJ @ Patterico’s Pontifications:
Like Beldar, Turkewitz thinks this was a minor mistake but he offers some good advice that I doubt Sonia Sotomayor or the White House will take [more at Sotomayor & Associates]
- Walter Olson @ Point of Law:
…the nominee called her very small practice “Sotomayor & Associates” even though it had no lawyers but herself. That would appear to be an infraction, if a minor one, of the relevant New York ethical rules.
- Mark Draughn @ WindyPundit:
Even if he got the idea from Turkewitz’s’ blog, he probably considers the idea public property because the primary source for the blog post—Sotomeyor’s questionnaire—is available to anyone, and Turkewitz doesn’t have any ownership of the story just because he wrote about it first. [Much more at On the Ethics of Sourcing For Bloggers and Journalists]
[New Sotomayor tag added for easy access to all Sotomayor posts]
Links to this post:
blawg review #220
welcome to blawg review #220, rounding up some highlights of the past week from around the legal blogosphere. it’s my second time hosting it here at overlawyered, a blog that as its name implies maintains a certain critical distance …posted by Walter Olson @ July 13, 2009 3:40 AM
sonia sotomayor “and associates”
[i’ve edited to make this tighter.] story here and here. eric turkewitz, a new york lawyer/blawger, broke the story. [then professor alberto bernabe, of the john marshall school of law, blogged about it.] …posted by John Steele @ July 07, 2009 2:48 PM
Sorry for the double comment, but I wanted to say congrats on breaking the story and that at Legal Ethics Forum we’ve linked to your post.
You’re correct about the “and Associates” issue. But as to the “Offices” rather than “Office” issue, I can report that ethics gurus seem split. Are there any advisory ops or cases on that? I will search and may comment again.
# posted by Blogger JohnSteele : July 07, 2009 2:54 PM
See the ethics advisory opinion from the NYS BAr Association in the comments of the original post from 1973.
# posted by Blogger Eric Turkewitz : July 07, 2009 3:55 PM