Nasty, Brutish & Short

« Previous · Home · Next »

If you're going to be an anonymous blogger, don't blog about the malpractice case pending against you

May 31, 2007 11:56 AM

From the Boston Globe:

It was a Perry Mason moment updated for the Internet age.

As Ivy League-educated pediatrician Robert P. Lindeman sat on the stand in Suffolk Superior Court this month, defending himself in a malpractice suit involving the death of a 12-year-old patient, the opposing counsel startled him with a question.

Was Lindeman Flea?

Flea, jurors in the case didn't know, was the screen name for a blogger who had written often and at length about a trial remarkably similar to the one that was going on in the courtroom that day.

In his blog, Flea had ridiculed the plaintiff's case and the plaintiff's lawyer. He had revealed the defense strategy. He had accused members of the jury of dozing.

With the jury looking on in puzzlement, Lindeman admitted that he was, in fact, Flea.

His poor defense counsel, I am sure they had no idea what they'd been hit with.

The "Flea" confession was probably lost on the jury, but Plaintiff's counsel indicated that they would be introducing all of his blog posts as evidence the next day.  He coughed up a substantial settlement offer before that happened.  And lo and behold, the dispute was resolved. 

Kudos to Plaintiff's counsel, who will be telling this war story for the rest of her career.  Oh and the best part?  Check out what the Doctor had been saying about her:

Elizabeth N. Mulvey, the lawyer who represented Vinroy and Deborah Binns and unmasked Lindeman as Flea, said she laughed when she read a posting at the start of the trial in which Lindeman nicknamed her Carissa Lunt, noticed that she bit her fingernails and mused, "Wonder if she's a pillow biter, too?"

The jury would NOT have found that commentary impressive.  And I wonder when Plaintiff's counsel realized that the doctor was "Flea"?  Did she know it all along, and wait for just the right moment?  I picture her as a lioness, stalking her prey.  And waiting... for just the right moment... to pounce!

HT: Althouse