Bezos Bares All
Jeff Bezos is not the first person to avail himself of personal Web publishing platforms to display “confidential” lawyer shakedown letters for all the world to see, but this week he perfected the maneuver. Seventeen years ago, I thought maybe the likes of Mr. Bezos and others would be spared the need to tell all, because the mere threat of Internet publication would dissuade shadier practices. I thought attorneys around the world would “begin to realize that, thanks to the Internet, their dispute-related correspondence may have a broader audience than they thought,” and that “this could have a dramatic, and positive, effect on the tenor and content of those missives.” This week, Jeff Bezos may have accomplished what seventeen years of publishing “private” lawyer correspondence apparently had not yet done. Going forward, any lawyer who thinks the things s/he commits to writing will not be open to public scrutiny and discussion is an ostrich, a dinosaur, and a fool.