The Sunday Times reported last Sunday that a crime novel that appeared under the name of Robert Galbraith three months ago was actually by J.K.Rowling. She was said to be angry about the revelation.
It now appears that her lawyer told his wife’s best friend, who tweeted it, although shortly afterwards she deleted the tweets.
David Allen Green asks Can J.K.Rowling sue for breach of confidentiality? It’s an interesting question beasue Rowling did not suffer financial loss as a result of the breach – quite the contrary.
Green links also to Richard Moorhead at Lawyer Watch on Harry Potter and the Breach of Confidence.
Lawyerly reaction to the news, insofar as twitter is a gauge, has been a mixture of incredulity and empathy: they see it as a stupid and clear breach; damaging to the firm’s (and lawyers) reputation but also recognising, I suspect, the human temptation to gossip and show off. Lawyers are human and some are more human than others. I too felt both empathy and incredulity; but felt – some may say harshly – that any empathy for ego- or vanity-driven gossiping has to be short lived. And whilst the firm in question has according to the BBC report fessed up with admirable clarity, there is some rather unbecoming blame shifting or sharing.
One question is what the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority will do.