A few weeks back, I wrote about the case of Michigan personal injury attorney and legal blogger Steve Gursten, who had a bar grievance filed against him by a doctor unhappy with a post Gursten had written that was critical of her.
Having been on the receiving end of my own share of complete-bullshit bar grievances, 1 my concern was that the Michigan Attorney Discipline Board would take this crap claim seriously, and put Gursten through his paces. That kind of stress and distraction has its own chilling effect on expression. Even if Gursten is willing and able to stand up to it – and he was, in spades – it can make other legal bloggers think twice about being critical of people like Dr. Rosalind Griffin.
So I was delighted to see that not only did the Discipline Board dispose of the matter summarily and briskly, it did so in a way that explicitly recognized that Gursten was well within his first amendment rights to criticize Dr. Griffin. Well done.
- Prior to being admitted to the Washington State Bar in 2014, some lawyers, unhappy with Avvo rating them, would file grievances against me for practicing without a license. What they failed to understand was that the Washington Rules of Professional Conduct in effect at the time permitted me to practice in-house in Washington as long as my California license was active. ↩