Ethical Risks of Attorney Social Media Activity: Navigating the Dangers of LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Blogs

Avoiding Inadvertent Attorney Advertising and Client Relationships, Disclosure of Privileged Information, and Damage to Reputation

A live 90-minute CLE video webinar with interactive Q&A


Wednesday, October 6, 2021 (in 13 days)

1:00pm-2:30pm EDT, 10:00am-11:30am PDT

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will explore the ethical issues that arise when attorneys use social networking sites and blogs. The panel will discuss the risks associated with LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, and other popular sites and outline the evolving ethical rules related to lawyers and online activity. The panel will offer guidance for counsel to stay within legal ethics boundaries when networking and promoting their legal services.

Description

LinkedIn, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, and other social networking sites offer lawyers myriad avenues for communicating with each other and the public about a host of issues. The potential of disclosure of confidential information makes an attorney's online presence a minefield of ethical danger. Attorneys must learn how to handle client reviews on sites such as Yelp and AVVO to protect their reputations while staying within legal ethics and professional conduct boundaries.

The American Bar Association's ethics committee has issued an opinion clarifying rules relating to lawyers reviewing jurors' internet presence before and during the trial. Local and state bar associations continue to grapple with new issues as they arise. Some bar associations have said that attorneys should treat most LinkedIn profiles as "attorney advertising," requiring appropriate disclosures and ethical obligations. Attorneys must be aware of the evolving ethical rules to safely take advantage of these platforms' opportunities.

Listen as our panel of experienced legal practitioners explores the ethical issues that arise when attorneys use social networking sites and blogs. The panel will discuss the legal ethics risks of using LinkedIn, Facebook, and other social media, outline the evolving professional conduct rules for online activity, and offer guidance for staying within legal ethics boundaries.

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Outline

  1. Legal ethics risks of attorney online activity on LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, blogs, review sites
    1. Introduction and confidentiality (including Cloud)
    2. Attorney advertising
    3. Client solicitation
    4. The unauthorized communication and practice of law
    5. Positional conflict
  2. Evidence preservation and spoliation
  3. Recent developments in social media and state legal ethics rules and court opinions
  4. Best practices for minimizing legal ethics pitfalls when marketing legal services and conclusion/questions

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Are there legal ethics problems in counsel directing clients to "clean up" their social media history? Can the attorney do it for them under the legal ethics standards?
  • What types of online communications might unintentionally establish an attorney-client relationship?
  • Does a request to "friend" on Facebook or "connect" on LinkedIn constitute communication from a lawyer?
  • Is an attorney who touts professional accomplishments on LinkedIn engaging in attorney advertising in violation of legal ethics rules?
  • Can an attorney respond to negative reviews on Yelp and other review sites without stepping outside the boundaries of legal ethics?

Faculty

Bevacqua-Lynott, Amber
Amber Bevacqua-Lynott

Senior Counsel
Buchalter

Ms. Bevacqua-Lynott is Senior Counsel in the Firm’s Portland and San Diego offices, and a member of the...  |  Read More

Elkanich, David
David J. Elkanich

Shareholder
Buchalter

Mr. Elkanich practices in the area of litigation with a focus on attorney disciplinary and legal ethics matters. He...  |  Read More

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You may pre-order a recording to listen at your convenience. Recordings are available 48 hours after the webinar. Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

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