Ethics & Blogging Law

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New York Social Media Ethics Guidelines a roadmap or rabbit hole?

New York social media ethics guidelinesEarlier this week I received a courtesy copy of the New York State Bar Association’s Social Media Ethics Guidelines. The Guidelines were adopted by the New York State Bar Association Commercial and Federal Litigation Section. The rules will be considered by the New York State Bar Association’s house of delegates this weekend. Though nice to … Continue Reading

We need laws requiring lawyers to stay abreast of technology?

lawyers technologyRobert Ambrogi (@bobambrogi) reported this week that Massachusetts is the 14th state to require lawyers to stay abreast of technology as a condition of licensure. Massachusetts ethics rules will now include the following provision, adopted in part from the ABA Model Rules for Professional Conducts. To maintain the requisite knowledge and skill, a lawyer should keep … Continue Reading

Ghost law blogging is unethical : Nearing a consensus

Ghostwritting Ghost written law blogsSorry lazy lawyers and marketing professionals selling ghostwritten blog posts. Lawyers and many other professionals are coming close to a consensus that ghost-blogging is unethical. The most recent discussion took place on Facebook and Twitter this week. Until now it was like talking religion or politics with the flak I received when expressing my belief … Continue Reading

Lawyers scaring lawyers from using social media

Is a lawyer’s blogging and use of other social media akin to Danny Devito’s character in the Rainmaker soliciting hospital clients? This from Virginia Attorney, Jonathan Frieden (@JonathanFrieden), writing on the ethical issues of LinkedIn endorsements and lawyers touting successes on their blogs. The hypothetical of an attorney walking the halls of a hospital looking … Continue Reading

Bar leaders: Lawyer’s online marketing not drawing ethics’ complaints

Lawyers and law firms are always asking about the ethical implications of social media and social networking. “These Internet business development tools sound interesting, but how can you guaranty me I won’t run afoul of ethics’ rules.” Despite lawyers’ fears, states are receiving few, if any, bar complaints arising out of lawyers use of the … Continue Reading

Is all use of social media subject to legal ethics rules?

On the heels on Tom Watson’s article on the perils of social media for lawyers (blogged about yesterday) I was reminded of Attorney Josh King’s presentation last week on legal ethics and social media at Avvocating 2012. King, General Counsel for Avvo, explained to lawyers from around the country that social media was not as fraught with the … Continue Reading

Perils of social media for lawyers : Badgerland style

The drumbeat on the perils of social media continues. This time from my home state of Wisconsin. Thomas Watson, Senior Vice President at Wisconsin Lawyers Mutual Insurance Company, writes in Wisconsin Lawyer Magazine “…[Social media’s] use presents many dangers to lawyers trying to operate competent and ethical practices.” How? …you risk losing control of your message, creating unrealistic client … Continue Reading

ABA Committee : State ethics rules on advertising may not apply to blogs and social networking

The ABA Standing Committee on the Delivery of Legal Services is proposing changes to the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct (pdf) to take into account, among other things, the status of law blogs and social networks. Rule 7.1 (Attorney Advertising) and Comment 1 to the rule currently provide: A lawyer shall not make a … Continue Reading

Though shalt not tweet to strangers… And other foolishness from the Florida Bar

“The Standing Committee on Advertising [of the Florida Bar Association] has reviewed the networking media, and issues the following guidelines for lawyers using them.” Whew, I was wondering when someone would get around to reviewing all of the social media and social networking sites on the Internet as well as review all the various methods … Continue Reading

Judge: When Bill of Rights was composed, bulletin boards were what blogs are today

There has been much discussion of last week’s decision dismissing a criminal case against a man accused of stalking and harassing a religious leader on Twitter. As reported by the New York Times’ Somini Sengupta (@SominiSengupta), The government had accused the defendant, William Lawrence Cassidy, of harassing and causing “substantial emotional distress” to a Buddhist … Continue Reading

3 myths stopping legal profession from embracing social media

Former Seattleite and now social media manager for Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan, Shannon Paul, has a wonderful post on the ‘3 Myths Stopping Regulated Biz From Embracing Social Media.’ By regulated industries, Paul is generally referring to businesses in finance/banking/securities, health care (insurance/hospitals/doctors), pharmaceuticals, government agencies themselves, spirits and insurance (property/casualty). Add the … Continue Reading

Lawyers are ill served by those preaching the pitfalls and perils of social media

Bench & Bar of Minnesota, the official publication of the Minnesota State Bar Association, joined the forces of lawyers, conferences, publications, and associations who are scaring lawyers from using social media. Perhaps not on purpose, but by emphasizing the risks of a lawyer using social media over the rewards they’re having that effect. Look at … Continue Reading