Welcome me back everyone, because I'm back in action. Don't ask me where I've been of late, because I have no clue. Actually, that's not entirely true. I have been very busy at work over the last month and a half, and I have been in trial for over a week in a very serious case where I feel my client should walk. I also think that if I give too many details right now, I'll get outed. So far, I've been figured out by a few people around the office. They've kept it quiet, but I know, sooner or later, it'll become general knowledge.
So today, my question is: why anonymity, and does it matter.
Obviosly I have my views on this, since I've kept myself anonymous for this long, and work a bit to keep it that way. I generally feel that being anonymous, it gives me greater freedom to spout off my opinions. Not complete freedom though. Obviously, since I can be figured out, I have to show some discretion over what I say. I can't go and reveal client confidences that would make a difference and that could be traced to a specific client. However, being anonymous, it gives me greater freedom to say something like "my client in a recent murder case said...." It would be pretty hard for that to trace back to a specific client (as long as the comment wasn't too specific). It gives me freedom to criticize generic DAs without revealing who they are. A long while back I was in trial on a special circumstance murder case and railed against the DA at length. If I wasn't anonymous, that would immediately trace back to the DA, and could possibly harm my client.
On the other hand, keeping anonymous has been difficult. I can't be too specific about a case that I've handled, and I can't be too specific about where I am. Otherwise, it will be figured out pretty quickly (even the general clues that I've dropped over the years have resulted in a couple of people figuring me out - but they're friends, so they're not saying anything).
I like being able to speak freely and not worry about what people are thinking about me, as well as what they are saying about the blog and the things I write when I do so. Perhaps I don't like drawing attention to myself, and that would keep me from jumping front/center with attention to who I am.
I am curious about how revealing themselves has worked out for people who previously were anonymous and are now revealed, and for those who were never anonymous in the first place. People such as Patterico work in my field (perhaps very close to my home????) and have come out of anonymity, I'm curious how it affects him (he gets far more hits than I do, and he has branched out as a general conservative political blogger).
I also wonder if my anonymity has kept me imprisoned in this role of discussing mostly legal/criminal issues, and if coming out frees people from some of those constraints. I've received in general very poor reaction to discussion about off-topic issues, perhaps because people either don't think much of my opinions, or don't come to this blog for that purpose. I have a lot of strong views on a lot of different subjects, but have mostly kept them to myself on this blog in part because I'm only seen as "Public Defender Dude."
Anyways, for my regular host of readers who have stuck by me through my long hiatus, I thank you. Pass the word along that I'm back, so feel free to check back soon, and you'll see more rantings from PD Dude.