A New Jersey law firm has been told by its insurance carrier that publishing a blog on the firm's website makes it uninsurable. Basically, the concern is that anything posted on the blog could be construed as legal advice, and thus open up the firm to a lawsuit should a reader act on this "advice". Despite the possibility of something like this happening, the refusal to insure the company seems a bit odd. It's not clear why the carrier, Chubb, couldn't have just adjusted its model and charged the firm a higher price for the added risk. Also, as one person who sets up blogs for law firms points out, it doesn't make sense to view a blog as separate from other forms of public communications. Lawyers, for example, frequently give speeches to various groups, and one could imagine that that could be seen as advice as well. Furthermore, law blogs (of which there are many), typically have strong disclaimers, which can help inoculate the author against lawsuits. The only thing that makes sense is that Chubb just had no idea how to think of a blog, and so it decided to just give up on the whole deal. It's Chubb's loss, since the law firm should be able to find an insurance carrier that has underwritten policies at one of the many the other law firms that have blogs on their sites.
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