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Thursday, October 16, 2014

Impeachment by Blog Post

From Walter Olson's Overlawyered, I learned about this post by Jim Dedman who writes at the blog, Abnormal Use. Dedman tells a cautionary tail about another lawyer's attempt to respond to Dedman's argument in court with a contradictory prior statement from the Abnormal Use blog.

Sometimes I wonder whether anybody will attempt to contradict an argument I make in court or in a paper by appealing to this blog. It hasn't happened yet, but I continue to hope that the blog will become popular enough that people begin making these impeachment attempts.

If that does end up happening, I suppose that a reasonable reply would be to point out that my thinking sometimes evolves. I welcome criticism and commentary on every post I write, and if I hear a compelling reply to an argument I make, I may well end up changing my view.

On the other hand, a craftier response would be to deny authorship and claim that the post was written by a different Michael Smith. While my common name may occasionally create embarrassing confusion (even with the middle initial listed!), in an impeachment situation, my generic name can be effective form of camouflage.

One might think that the inclusion of a picture in the blog would spell defeat for this ploy. But I don't think that's necessarily the case. I had the fortune of getting my blog's picture from a friend who has an extremely nice camera. In real life, I appear far less artfully focused -- so much so that I should be able to create enough doubt to thwart any impeachment attempts.

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