ARDC v. Blogging Lawyer -- Really a 1st Amendment case?
After being disqualified from serving as counsel in a case, lawyer Joanne Marie Dennison decided -- perhaps unwisely -- to blog about the case, claiming that the case tainted by corruption and greed.
Now, the Illinois ARDC has decided to prosecute Dennison, claiming that she has violated Rules 8.2 and 8.4. According to the complaint, available at https://www.iardc.org/13PR0001CM.html, the misconduct is, that Dennison posted :
[t]hat there was impropriety going on in relation to the Sykes case; that the GALs and the judges were corrupt; that the GALs and the court had engaged in financial exploitation or had financially profited in some way in relation to Sykes’ guardianship case; that the judge had inappropriately taken away Sykes’ rights; and that Stern, Farenga, and the judge had committed crimes, were false[, and]
[Dennison] either knew that her statements as described in paragraph nine, above, were false or she made the statements with reckless disregard as to their truth or falsity
Having reviewed the posts about which the ARDC complain, and written on this subject before (see http://bit.ly/YxubjK), it appears to me they are going after constitutionally protected speech, particularly since Dennison is not counsel in the case (and thus not limited under Rule 3.6). I guess we will have to watch this case, and see what comes next.