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Bubastes
01-23-2009, 09:19 PM
An associate at a law firm was prohibited by her employer from continuing her online erotic novel. So, what are your thoughts? Did the firm do the right thing or the wrong thing? Did the author show poor judgment? Or did the law firm overstep its bounds on dictating what its employees can and can't do in their off hours?

http://abajournal.com/news/allen_overy_bans_senior_associates_racy_online_nov el/

Saskatoonistan
01-23-2009, 09:23 PM
I'm thinking she's gonna have to choose her battles on this one. I don't think any employer can or should control a person's artistic pursuits because they are separate of their day job. In short: sounds like BS to me...

Bubastes
01-23-2009, 09:25 PM
What I don't understand is why she chose to use her real name. I write under a pen name because I want to keep my day job completely separate from my writing. What I write is none of their business. I think it's BS too, but you're right, she has to choose her battles.

Saskatoonistan
01-23-2009, 09:38 PM
Yeah the real name thing is kinda boneheaded if you ask me. Then again, this could be an elaborate scheme to generate news coverage so that an agent or a publisher will read her work, contact her, offer her a jillion dollars, and then she can tell her law firm to pound salt...

Cranky
01-23-2009, 09:48 PM
What I don't understand is why she chose to use her real name. I write under a pen name because I want to keep my day job completely separate from my writing. What I write is none of their business. I think it's BS too, but you're right, she has to choose her battles.

Yeah, I think it's BS, too. That said, if there's a potential problem with what you do in your off hours (and I guess writing erotica would fall into that category for some...whether or not it SHOULD is a whole other discussion), I think one would be wise to write under a pen name.

I can't feel all that sorry for her as a result. *shrug*

Bubastes
01-23-2009, 09:50 PM
Me neither. Posting pictures of herself in lingerie was beyond stupid too. Apparently Columbia Law School didn't teach her common sense.

Kate Thornton
01-23-2009, 09:51 PM
I am surprised a law firm would do this - they must be sure of their ground, but it looks shaky to me.

I was onced hauled into the boss' office for some nude pics on the internet under my name. Haha - that Kate Thornton in Britain is all over the net, but one look at our faces kinda lets you know she ain't me. I got a good laugh that he would think a 20-something body could belong to my 50-something self!

I just don't see why an employer would care what a fictionwriter produces.

Ms Hollands
01-23-2009, 10:13 PM
I am surprised a law firm would do this - they must be sure of their ground, but it looks shaky to me.

I was onced hauled into the boss' office for some nude pics on the internet under my name. Haha - that Kate Thornton in Britain is all over the net...

Hmmm, did you then question your boss as to why he was looking at nude pics, and in particular, how he found ones that matched your name? ;)

HeronW
01-23-2009, 10:16 PM
If she worked outside of the office, and she's not using her co-workers as fodder--the law office could be sued for violating emplyees' rights.

WendyNYC
01-23-2009, 10:21 PM
Maybe she signed a contract about conduct outside of the workplace. In any event, it's stupid not to write erotica under a pen name in such a conservative profession--future employers might use Google.

Mr. Chuckletrousers
01-23-2009, 10:27 PM
If she worked outside of the office, and she's not using her co-workers as fodder--the law office could be sued for violating emplyees' rights.
No, assuming this job was at-will, the firm would entirely be within their rights to a) threaten to fire her unless she complied, and b) fire her if she did not comply (unless of course there were a contractual clause in her employment contract which prevented termination on this specific basis).

Bubastes
01-23-2009, 10:28 PM
Law firms have no qualms about dictating what their associates should do with all of their waking hours, contract or no contract. Attorneys are supposed to conduct themselves in an ethical, upstanding manner (insert laughter here), so I'm not surprised the law firm did what it did.

Besides, she's supposed to be billing more hours or getting clients, not wasting time writing! /sarcasm

ETA: Mr. Chuckletrousers is right. As an at-will employee, the firm is free to set any conditions it wants, and she is free to comply with them or be fired.

MarkEsq
01-23-2009, 11:11 PM
Law firms have no qualms about dictating what their associates should do with all of their waking hours, contract or no contract. Attorneys are supposed to conduct themselves in an ethical, upstanding manner (insert laughter here), so I'm not surprised the law firm did what it did.

Besides, she's supposed to be billing more hours or getting clients, not wasting time writing! /sarcasm

ETA: Mr. Chuckletrousers is right. As an at-will employee, the firm is free to set any conditions it wants, and she is free to comply with them or be fired.


Quoted for truth. Been there.

Claudia Gray
01-23-2009, 11:13 PM
She absolutely should've used a pen name and not photographed herself. On the one hand I feel for her, but on the other hand, law firms are pretty clear about their expectations of behavior; she should've known better.

GirlWithPoisonPen
01-23-2009, 11:21 PM
I'd fire her ass too.

The firm offers her as an expert. It dilutes her ability to be taken seriously as an expert if clients can Google her and find her erotica and pictures. I don't have a problem with her writing erotica (write on!), but anything involving sex carries cultural and moral freight. It's not the same as being on a baseball team. She should be smart enough to know that a pen name was necessary.

Cal_Noble
01-23-2009, 11:44 PM
Legal right of the firm will depend on state, I believe, but many states are now allowing companies to dictate what employees do after hours. I knew a company in Florida that threatened to fire a girl because they saw her smoking a cigarette on the weekend. Shortly after that, the company instituted random nicotine tests.

Since she is a direct reflection upon the company, I think this woman was just plain stupid to use her real name. If they fired her for (potentially) tarring their image, I can buy it. If they didn't mention that, but cited religious/moral grounds, she'll probably get wealthy.

blacbird
01-23-2009, 11:47 PM
It may be BS, but employers are private entities, and have pretty wide leeway to expect and enforce certain behaviors on employees. If she'd contributed, say, a racist diatribe to a KKK website, I doubt there would be much uproar here if she got fired for it.

Remember, the Constitutional protection for free speech only extends to protection from criminal prosecution. It doesn't cover private sanction such as termination of employment, etc.

caw

Mr. Chuckletrousers
01-23-2009, 11:53 PM
It may be BS, but employers are private entities, and have pretty wide leeway to expect and enforce certain behaviors on employees. If she'd contributed, say, a racist diatribe to a KKK website, I doubt there would be much uproar here if she got fired for it.

Remember, the Constitutional protection for free speech only extends to protection from criminal prosecution. It doesn't cover private sanction such as termination of employment, etc.

caw
The protection for free speech protects against all state action (not just criminal prosecution), so if she were a state employee who the state threatened to terminate due to her writings then she might actually have a cause of action here.

blacbird
01-24-2009, 12:01 AM
The protection for free speech protects against all state action (not just criminal prosecution), so if she were a state employee who the state threatened to terminate due to her writings then she might actually have a cause of action here.

Maybe, maybe not. But a moot point, as (according to how I read the story) she's privately employed.

And, I know state employees whose contracts explicitly prohibit them from certain off-duty activities, including unauthorized publication of some forms of writing. Usually this is invoked to cover technical work related to their jobs, but I'm sure it could get invoked in an instance of the sort described in the OP as well.

caw

Mr. Chuckletrousers
01-24-2009, 12:02 AM
Maybe, maybe not. But a moot point, as (according to how I read the story) she's privately employed.

It is indeed moot.

Maryn
01-24-2009, 01:21 AM
I just like having the opportunity to say "moot." Thanks!

Maryn, ever so grateful

Atlantis
01-24-2009, 01:55 AM
An associate at a law firm was prohibited by her employer from continuing her online erotic novel. So, what are your thoughts? Did the firm do the right thing or the wrong thing? Did the author show poor judgment? Or did the law firm overstep its bounds on dictating what its employees can and can't do in their off hours?

http://abajournal.com/news/allen_overy_bans_senior_associates_racy_online_nov el/

I would be furious if this happened to me. She's an erotica writer not a hooker. How DARE they do this? What right do they have? If she wants to write erotica that's her business.

Mr. Chuckletrousers
01-24-2009, 02:08 AM
I would be furious if this happened to me. She's an erotica writer not a hooker. How DARE they do this? What right do they have? If she wants to write erotica that's her business.
And it is their business whether they want to employ her. If they don't want to employ someone who writes erotica under her own name and poses semi-nude on the internet then that is entirely within their rights.

Kitty Pryde
01-24-2009, 02:09 AM
I think it's totally within bounds to require a certain standard of behavior of your employees on their free time. As a business owner you spend years building up a good reputation and trust within your community. Why should it be okay for your employees to go out and ruin it? No, erotica writing isn't evil, but it is something that one may not want one's lawyer doing.

I used to work at a summer camp. The counselors were allowed to do whatever they wanted in their free time. They were also allowed to wear their camp t-shirts in their free time. But they WEREN'T allowed to do stuff like act rowdy, drink alcohol in public, or engage in general bufoonery in their free time while wearing their camp t-shirts. Why? You can be the best camp counselor in the universe, but if a camp parent ran into you staggering drunk at a bar in the city, then what would they think of your ability to care for their most precious small children? Drinking isn't bad per say, but it can be seen as a negative trait in one who has to bear a heavy responsibility.

I'm a volunteer for an adaptive ski school. We aren't allowed to drink in public when we are wearing our gear with the name of the ski school on it, even if it's our 'day off'. The ski school's employees aren't allowed to either. Why? Because when we wear their name we represent them, and we have to put them in a good light. The fact that this woman is easily googleable at her erotica home page and on her company's website is the same sort of issue.

IceCreamEmpress
01-24-2009, 03:59 AM
How DARE they do this? What right do they have?

They have whatever rights she ceded to them when she signed her employment contract. If it's like the employment contracts of most of my attorney friends, it has a long section in it about how they can fire you if anything you do draws unwanted publicity to the firm, and gives them the right to define what publicity is unwanted.

And seeing that she's an attorney herself, she should be aware of what her employment contract does and does not permit.

fullbookjacket
01-24-2009, 04:00 AM
It may be BS, but employers are private entities, and have pretty wide leeway to expect and enforce certain behaviors on employees. If she'd contributed, say, a racist diatribe to a KKK website, I doubt there would be much uproar here if she got fired for it.

Remember, the Constitutional protection for free speech only extends to protection from criminal prosecution. It doesn't cover private sanction such as termination of employment, etc.

caw

This is in Britain. The U.S. Constitution does not apply. If it happened here, she should sue their sorry asses.

susangpyp
01-24-2009, 07:15 PM
It's really not a matter of law. It's a matter of the legal profession being very conservative. I'm a lawyer and an author of self-help. There doesn't seem to be an intersection between the two but I'm always aware of my professional status as an attorney when I am posting (quite often) on line. I have deleted lines and posts after writing them, thinking that even if it's okay in most places, it's not okay in the stuffy world of law practice. And this is NOT erotica by any means! I don't even swear most of the time on line because I don't want someone who knows me AS AN ATTORNEY to read it.

No matter what your career, you are beholden to the standards of your profession. The standards of the legal profession are very very conservative.

susangpyp
01-24-2009, 07:17 PM
This is in Britain. The U.S. Constitution does not apply. If it happened here, she should sue their sorry asses.

No she couldn't.

JimmyB27
01-24-2009, 10:54 PM
I like to post xkcd comics whenever I get the opportunity, and this one certainly sums up my feelings on this extremely well:

http://imgs.xkcd.com/comics/dreams.png (http://xkcd.com/137/)

Pagey's_Girl
01-25-2009, 05:45 AM
Where I used to work, that's the sort of situation where you were suddenly fired for "misuse of company resources" or something similar.

Unfortunately, in some places, you can be fired or reprimanded for pretty much any reason. At one place I used to work, it was rumored that the person who'd previously had the job was fired because the president of the company didn't like the shade of red that she'd dyed her hair. Given the atmosphere there, I believe it. It was like that Twilight Zone episode - tick off little Billy and get sent to the cornfield.

ideagirl
01-26-2009, 01:17 AM
I completely agree with JimmyB27 EXCEPT THAT she simply should've done this under a pseudonym. Nobody's requiring her to not write--they're just requiring her to write under a different name than the name she uses in her professional life as a lawyer.


if there's a potential problem with what you do in your off hours (and I guess writing erotica would fall into that category for some...whether or not it SHOULD is a whole other discussion), I think one would be wise to write under a pen name.
I can't feel all that sorry for her as a result. *shrug*

Yeah. I mean, for a writer of erotica, she does have a great real name--"Diedre Dare"!! Haha. I can see why she'd want to keep using that name in her writing career too. But still, SHE IS A LAWYER, a job which by definition does not end at the end of a workday; you don't go home and stop being a lawyer--rules of ethics, for example, cover your entire life, not just what you do at work. For example, I'm a lawyer, and if I were--say--on vacation with a fellow lawyer in a foreign country and I saw my fellow lawyer commit a crime (e.g. shoplifting, drug use...) or do something unethical, guess what? I am obligated to report them to their local bar association when we get home from our vacation, so that the bar association can investigate and decide what to do (warn them, reprimand them, suspend them, disbar them...).

That's just a fact about being a lawyer. It's not like most other jobs. You are obligated to behave ethically at all times, not just during the workday; and you represent your profession at all times. It comes with the territory.

And I'm not saying there's anything unethical or wrong about her novel at all--although there could be (if she includes thinly disguised real people as characters, for example, that could get ugly). I'm just pointing out that lawyers don't stop being lawyers at the end of the workday, and the rules that cover us are different than the rules covering many/most other jobs.

The big problem with her book is simply that she used her real name. You can't be a lawyer and publish books under your own name that would make you (and by extension your firm) look bad to clients. Particularly not when you're a senior associate, like her--that means she's right at the point where she's supposed to start bringing in new clients for the firm. "Hi, I'm an American woman in Moscow who writes erotica about an American woman in Moscow--but it's totally fictional! Please don't imagine that any of it is about me--and I would like to represent your company in court." Yeah, that goes over well.

Personally, I write under a pseudonym. Or not exactly a pseudonym, but just one of my other names (for some reason in my family we have at least two middle names, in addition to our first name).

ideagirl
01-26-2009, 01:24 AM
Originally Posted by Kate Thornton http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/images/buttons/viewpost.gif (http://www.absolutewrite.com/forums/showthread.php?p=3198786#post3198786)
I was onced hauled into the boss' office for some nude pics on the internet under my name. Haha - that Kate Thornton in Britain is all over the net...[/I]


Hmmm, did you then question your boss as to why he was looking at nude pics, and in particular, how he found ones that matched your name? ;)

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA That would've been HILARIOUS!!!!! :D Good question!

Clair Dickson
01-26-2009, 05:07 AM
This case does concern me a bit. When I started writing and publishing I didn't realize I'd end up writing some rather risque sort of things. Thus, it's all published under my real name. Even if I had used a different name for some of the naughty stories, it wouldn't have much mattered because it's all the same protagonist.

I'm an alternative high school teacher. I've told both my bosses that I write naughty stuff and assure them that I don't bring any of it in to the class (either the naughty writing or the naughty behavior ;-) But I do sometimes worry about potential consequences.

I can't really go back now since the cat is out of the bag. The internet seems to be changing some of the lines between what we do both during and after work hours.

Clearly, I just need to get my novel published and make big bucks so I don't have to worry about it. ;-)

JimmyB27
01-26-2009, 02:09 PM
For example, I'm a lawyer, and if I were--say--on vacation with a fellow lawyer in a foreign country and I saw my fellow lawyer commit a crime (e.g. shoplifting, drug use...) or do something unethical, guess what? I am obligated to report them to their local bar association when we get home from our vacation, so that the bar association can investigate and decide what to do (warn them, reprimand them, suspend them, disbar them...).
Apologies for the slight derail, but I'm interested. What exactly do you mean by crime? I mean, if they do something that's illegal in your country, but legal in the country you're visiting, do you report them. What if it's illegal in the visited country, but legal at home?

Mr. Chuckletrousers
01-26-2009, 08:19 PM
Apologies for the slight derail, but I'm interested. What exactly do you mean by crime? I mean, if they do something that's illegal in your country, but legal in the country you're visiting, do you report them. What if it's illegal in the visited country, but legal at home?
This depends on the exact wording of the relevant code of professional responsibility and past decisions of the relevant bar association. For instance, here (http://www.law.cornell.edu/ethics/ny/code/NY_CODE.HTM) is New York's code. Look at sections EC 1-4 and EC 1-5. The wording has a certain amount of wiggle room, and your scenarios arguably fit in the gray area where a clear answer is not immediately obvious (though there may be past decisions that have a more bright line answer). But bar associations tend to punish even the appearance of impropriety and disrespect for the law, so it would be wise to stay out of the gray area if at all possible (and to report those who do not).

Bubastes
02-20-2009, 10:11 PM
An update: the author was fired by the law firm. She's taking legal action. Of course, her writing career seems to be taking off thanks to her newfound noteriety.

Some interesting details:


In mid December last year, Dare brought an internal grievance procedure for sexual harassment against the firm over the alleged misconduct of a Moscow partner.

She said that the firm's London HR department then instituted disciplinary proceedings against her because of her website. She claims that this proceeding was started in retaliation to her sexual harassment claim.

A statement from A&O said: "After we became formally aware of Ms Dare's website and started to consider the firm's response, she filed a grievance which was fully investigated in accordance with our standard policies and found to be groundless, although she has appealed against the decision."
http://www.thelawyer.com/cgi-bin/item.cgi?id=136576&d=477&h=479&f=478



Before the story broke, her website was visited by a mere 3,500 people a month. Now 800,000 have accessed it in a few days, Dare claims, and a Moscow newspaper has even asked her to write a weekly column called Sexpat. She has also been approached by more than one publisher and hopes to publish her book The Marriage Delusion – in which she argues that matrimony should be abolished – in a two-book package along with Expat.
http://entertainment.timesonline.co.uk/tol/arts_and_entertainment/books/article5580599.ece

happywritermom
02-20-2009, 10:36 PM
I am a former journalist and a firm believer in free speech, and I would have fired her. First, however, I would have given her the option of switching to a pen name and taking the photos offline. Reputation for a law firm is similar to platform for a nonfiction writer. Without it, it's awful hard to attract clients. She is potentially a financial liability to the firm (unless they are hoping to attract the Larry Flynts of the world!). If she wants to write erotica, more power to her. But, using her real name, as many have said, was just really, really stupid. Although how stupid was it really? It sounds like her second career is taking off nicely.
Anybody know of a good law firm that will hire and then fire me?

ideagirl
02-21-2009, 07:19 AM
Apologies for the slight derail, but I'm interested. What exactly do you mean by crime? I mean, if they do something that's illegal in your country, but legal in the country you're visiting, do you report them. What if it's illegal in the visited country, but legal at home?

My understanding is that if what they're doing is legal where we are (e.g., smoking pot in Amsterdam), I don't have to report them, with just a few exceptions. The laws of a country almost universally do not apply outside that country's borders--almost, but not quite universally. There are a handful of US laws that dictate what Americans can or can't do in foreign countries. For example, you can get arrested, tried and jailed in America for going to, say, Bangkok and hiring a child prostitute, even if it's legal in Bangkok. And there are US laws that prohibit American businesspeople from giving bribes in foreign countries in order to do business there--I'm thinking of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act. But unless a US law like that applies, which it almost never does, then as long as what they're doing is legal where we are, my understanding is I wouldn't have to report it, because apart from that tiny handful of exceptions, American law simply does not apply in foreign countries. If you smoke pot in Amsterdam, you are not breaking the law because there's no applicable law that forbids it. But if you're American and you hire a child prostitute in Bangkok, you ARE breaking the law, because American law applies to that situation.

Note the phrase "wouldn't HAVE to." Just because I'm not obligated to report it doesn't mean I can't. There's no way I would ever report anyone for smoking pot in Amsterdam, but what if we're in, say, an underdeveloped country whose legal system is in disarray, and it so happens that at the moment there's no law against rape there? If I know a fellow lawyer who commits rape there, you bet your ass I'm reporting him.

As for if it's illegal in the visited country but legal here, generally I probably wouldn't need to report it because if it's not illegal here then obviously it's not something that Americans think is wrong. I mean, if I see a female American lawyer driving a car in Saudi Arabia, what am I going to tell the local bar association--"OMIGOD she DROVE a CAR!!!" It's just not something the bar association is going to care about.

Momento Mori
02-22-2009, 06:47 PM
I've been following this story with interest because I work for a different law firm in London and this has been the subject of some water cooler discussions.

Within my employment contract there is a clause giving my employer the right to terminate my employment if I bring the firm into disrepute or damage its reputation on the basis that such disrepute or reputation damage amounts to gross misconduct. I believe that a similar clause was in Deirdre Dare's contract. It's certainly not unusual to have such a clause if you work for any City firm.

Now, I personally think that A&O were bloody stupid in the way they handled this story. Dare comes across to me as a bit of a self-aggrandizing drama queen who's after any bit of publicity she can get. As with most things, I doubt that the full story has been disclosed here, but I'd be surprised if A&O did not first give her the option of editing parts of on-line posting where the same referred to her employer, fellow employees or clients (or could be read in such a way as to identify the same).

I'd also be surprised if the reason they terminated Dare's employment was more to do with her behaviour after first being confronted re the blog (i.e. by going public with what was going on) rather than handling it internally because even if the blog did not reveal information about the firm etc, her subsequent actions were by their nature bringing the firm into disrepute. And it wouldn't be beyond the realms of possibility if the current economic situation meant that A&O were already looking to reduce head count within their Moscow office and Dare simply gave them a means of terminating her without having to make her redundant (assuming that she was protected by redundancy legislation).

I'd be interested to see where she seeks to bring her employment claim. Much of it will (I suspect) have to do with the jurisdiction and governing law of her employment contract - in the UK for example, there are certain protections that don't kick in unless you've been employed for a set period of time and it's not clear how long she's been at the firm.

With my own employment contract, because I know about the disrepute clause, I'm v. careful about posting things on the internet in my own name. I do keep a personal blog under my RL name and I've got the usual Facebook et al web presence, but I avoid talking about work at all and keep anything really private that I want to vent about under a second blog account that's not visible to the public and which I don't update from work. At the moment, almost every City firm is looking to cull employees to reduce costs so the last thing you want to do is give them an excuse to fire you.

Dare is clearly after celebrity and good luck to her. But having read some of her stuff, I'd be surprised if she amounted to anything more than a flash in the pan and I'd also doubt that she'd make enough to maintain the lifestyle a City salary can get you.

MM

katiemac
02-22-2009, 10:40 PM
At one of the offices I'm at right now, I signed a contract that stated the company can claim ownership of anything that goes online through their servers (personal e-mail and drafts included). I'd be interested if she was using their computers and Internet service sometimes to contribute to her blog, even if it was on breaks and lunch hours.

Wayne K
02-22-2009, 11:00 PM
I'm suprised that I had to hear about this a month later here. Freedom of speech is absolute to me, so I don't think there's anything that matters in this story other than that. If it happens to one writer it happens to the entire community. There's no gray line, you're either for it or against it.

Bufty
02-22-2009, 11:41 PM
Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from responsibility for - or facing the consequences of - what one says.

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 03:37 AM
Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from responsibility for - or facing the consequences of - what one says.

What consequences? Hate speech? Come on.

blueobsidian
02-23-2009, 04:00 AM
Where do you think hate speech came into play? I haven't actually seen you make an argument about why she should be allowed to keep her job. Don't just spout propaganda. If you claim to be passionate about an issue, learn about it.

She had the right to say and post whatever she wanted, but law firms have strict employment contracts. Their business is based on reputation. Many clients would be turned off by a lawyer posting erotica under their real name, which would cost the firm business. As a lawyer, she should have been fully aware of the consequences of her actions.

I wish I could live in this world of yours where there were no shades of gray, but unfortunately that place does not exist. The world is not black or white.

Judg
02-23-2009, 04:03 AM
I'm suprised that I had to hear about this a month later here. Freedom of speech is absolute to me, so I don't think there's anything that matters in this story other than that. If it happens to one writer it happens to the entire community. There's no gray line, you're either for it or against it.
There are always gray lines.

Refusing to acknowledge the greys leads to extremism and even fanaticism.

scarletpeaches
02-23-2009, 04:05 AM
Sure, she has the right to post whatever she wants online. I support that right 100%.

But she also has the responsibility to face up to the consequences.

Own your words, after all.

Bubastes
02-23-2009, 04:07 AM
Yup. She has the right to post whatever she wants. No one is stopping her from doing that.

Her employer also has the right to fire her. It's not like she has an absolute right to work there.

scarletpeaches
02-23-2009, 04:13 AM
It seems to me like she was being deliberately provocative.

I've recently struggled with the question of whether or not to use a pen name for certain writings and feel like a hypocrite for doing so - am I owning my words by publishing under another name?

Then again...I'm not a lawyer. And I don't put any of my erotic writings online.

So I think she had a greater need for a pen name than I. Plus, her work seems lifted straight from her real life, with added sex. Which doesn't seem all that original or creative to me.

And posting a photo of yourself? Hmm. Does she want to be a writer, or just to get attention and/or publicity?

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 04:19 AM
Where do you think hate speech came into play? I haven't actually seen you make an argument about why she should be allowed to keep her job. Don't just spout propaganda. If you claim to be passionate about an issue, learn about it.

She had the right to say and post whatever she wanted, but law firms have strict employment contracts. Their business is based on reputation. Many clients would be turned off by a lawyer posting erotica under their real name, which would cost the firm business. As a lawyer, she should have been fully aware of the consequences of her actions.

I wish I could live in this world of yours where there were no shades of gray, but unfortunately that place does not exist. The world is not black or white.
You're one of those huh? If you're not a good enough debater to disagree without being insulting I'm out

GirlWithPoisonPen
02-23-2009, 04:20 AM
This is not a free speech issue.

This is a lack of professional judgment issue.

Erotica writing + provocative pics + identifying details of her law firm and colleagues = lawyer with bad judgment

blacbird
02-23-2009, 04:23 AM
I'm suprised that I had to hear about this a month later here. Freedom of speech is absolute to me, so I don't think there's anything that matters in this story other than that. If it happens to one writer it happens to the entire community. There's no gray line, you're either for it or against it.

It's not a freedom of speech issue, Wayne. Read the thread more carefully. Nobody is threatening to arrest or prosecute or jail this person. Her employer is requiring she desist as a condition of her employment. You might not like what they're doing, but it is a private matter, and they have the right to do that. Nothing more complicated. And, at the basic level, nothing different from an employer requiring decorum of various kinds from employees who represent the company and its reputation in public. People get fired all the time for doing things on their own time that embarrass or have the potential to embarrass their employers.

caw

blueobsidian
02-23-2009, 04:23 AM
You're one of those huh? I'm out.

One of what? Someone that believes that all my actions have consequences and I need to accept them? Sure. I'm that kind of person. I know that I can write anything I want, but I know that if I write erotica and post suggestive pictures (while identifying where I work), my boss will hate it. Why would I do something like that if I knew it would jeopardize my employment or the reputation of my company?

Seriously, all it would have taken was a pen name.

Perhaps you are out because you don't actually have an argument on the subject?

scarletpeaches
02-23-2009, 04:38 AM
I've been reading some of this 'erotic' novel and...well...I don't find it very erotic.

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 09:48 AM
You're one of those huh? If you're not a good enough debater to disagree without being insulting I'm out.
Please quote the entire thing or people will suspect you are exactly what you are. It's an opinion that I posted, and everyone was able to disagree without being insulting but you. And before you start something like "I thought you were out of here?" I lied. If you can't play without temper tantrums and insults this isn't the right place for you.

ETA: Going back to your post you say someone should face the consequences of "What one says" I wasn't saying the woman in this story was being denied free speech. It was a comment on the statement. SP is right, I think she deliberately provoked the whole thing for publicity.

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 10:38 AM
Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from responsibility for - or facing the consequences of - what one says.Notice the entire post is quoted.

For those who can play fair, my reaction to free speech was at this post not the story. The reason why I thought hate speech was the issue is because it's the only speech that has consequences, and as you can see it's the antithesis of what free speech is.

blueobsidian
02-23-2009, 03:18 PM
Please quote the entire thing or people will suspect you are exactly what you are.

I've got a great quote for you Wayne:




Last edited by Wayne K : Yesterday at 10:23 PM.


If you notice, I posted my reply SIX HOURS before you edited your post to add the extra nonsense. It's fine if you want to judge my debating skills. However, since you have not actually provided any opinions or evidence on this fact, perhaps you are not one to judge.

Clair Dickson
02-23-2009, 03:28 PM
I'm suprised that I had to hear about this a month later here. Freedom of speech is absolute to me, so I don't think there's anything that matters in this story other than that. If it happens to one writer it happens to the entire community. There's no gray line, you're either for it or against it.

I don't understand this at all. Maybe it's because it's early and I don't feel good... but what?

What's the freedom of speech issue?

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 05:08 PM
I've got a great quote for you Wayne.
You're a liar that was my origional post.


If you notice, I posted my reply SIX HOURS before you edited your post to add the extra nonsense. It's fine if you want to judge my debating skills. However, since you have not actually provided any opinions or evidence on this fact, perhaps you are not one to judge.
Insulting someone is not a debating skill it's internet bickering, I was tired and really didn't want to mix it up last night, but it is frowned upon by the moderators. After two pages of this you still don't deny that you were being insulting, so I'm sure thats your next argument.

Wayne K
02-23-2009, 05:10 PM
Freedom of speech doesn't mean freedom from responsibility for - or facing the consequences of - what one says.

I was responding to this post clair, not the OP., very simple.

dpaterso
02-23-2009, 06:08 PM
Take it to PM, if you absolutely have to.

Thread's taking a break. Forum mods may re-open later.

-Derek

Soccer Mom
02-23-2009, 10:33 PM
Nope. I'm leaving this locked. No cookies for you bad children. Play nice in the forum and perhaps there will be brownies later.