The Ball Is In Your Court, Niki

The following is a social media “authentic engagement” lesson courtesy of  Nicole “Niki” Black.

For those who don’t know who Ms. Black is, here is a snapshot of her bio:

I don’t know if Ms. Black recalls, but we met once for lunch when she was in Toronto attending another one of the umpteen legal tech conferences she and her fellow “legal techies” so much enjoy blogging and tweeting about.

Mind you, Ms. Black is a published legal writer (see Scott Greenfield’s book review here) and she is, as someone on Twitter noted “a respected member of the New York bar”.

Ms. Black also enjoys tweeting about food and particularly wine.

She also recently tweeted about the “What’s Behind the Myth of the Cranky Woman Lawyer? “

Sadly, Ms. Black recently chose to “block” me on Twitter, the equivalent of social ostracism among those whose self-identity is so inextricably tied to social validation and their latest Klout and Twitter follower stats.

Then again, I’m not surprised as she has blocked me before, and then unblocked me, and then unfollowed me, and then…well, you get the picture.

It seems that the following tweet did not go over too well and struck a nerve:

Antonin I. Pribetic
AntoninPribetic Antonin I. Pribetic
Great convo b/w 2 “attorneys” RT @adriandayton: RT @nikiblack: It’s about time!– e-filing in NYS court

Here is Ms. Black’s witty riposte:

in reply to @AntoninPribetic ↑

Nicole Black

@nikiblack Nicole Black
@AntoninPribetic go crawl back into your hole antonin. You always show up after 8 pm or so raring to go. Why is that I wonder?

Admittedly, I was trying to juxtapose the irony of a retweet about court e-filing by two social media law types: one who only practiced law for 9 months and the other who used to practice but now is “of counsel” and spends most of her time writing.

The “Cranky Woman Lawyer” then decided to push the envelope way too far:

Nicole Black

nikiblack Nicole Black

@AntoninPribetic you lose that social filter and get particularly nasty in the evening. I wonder why that is? Very strange it is…

Some might instinctively point to what psychologists refer to as “projection”. I won’t.

I would have let this libel go, except Ms. Black decided to engage another of her followers to chime in:
Nicole Black

nikiblack Nicole Black

@onebigrhino well that is the cardinal rule you know…don’t drink and tweet;)

Now, Ms. Black should know better than to insinuate that I have a drinking problem or an alcohol addiction. I hesitate to rebroadcast or republish her libel, but my purpose here is to educate not litigate. This, notwithstanding that she has impugned both my professional and personal reputation.

I haven’t decided if I will pursue this matter. However, if Ms. Black  issues a public apology and retracts the foregoing statements, I will consider the matter closed.

The ball is in your court, Niki.

5 Responses to “The Ball Is In Your Court, Niki”

  1. mirriam Says:

    I too wondered why non-practicing lawyers would care about e-filing, but it’s their job to keep up to speed on all things tech. Also, the real problem with that tweet is the ‘about time’ since I’m not sure there are many states that have e-filing yet (Maryland does not and all initial cases in Federal courts have to be personally filed still) so it’s deceptive to make it seem like NY was way off the ball on this one.

  2. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    I wonder why non-practicing lawyers care about e-filing at all. I’m sure there are far more pressing issues to discuss like those Brian Tannebaum highlights in his post over at My Law License: A Lesson From Social Media/Tech Lawyer Evangelists: Do As I Say, Because I Don’t Do

  3. Brian Cuban Says:

    I was surprised at her tweets and felt they were out of line Ad hominem. It’s one thing to be “scarcastically funny”. Its another to get personal with someone you don’t even know on any meaningful level on such a subject.

  4. Brian Cuban Says:

    I will add though that I don’t see it as anything that would meet the requirements for defamation at least on this side of the border. Don’t know what Canada’s requirements are.

  5. Antonin I. Pribetic Says:

    Thanks for your comments, Brian. The law of defamation is different in Canada.

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