Tuesday, October 28, 2014

PBA Formal Opinion: Ethical Obligations for Attorneys Using Social Media

The PBA Ethics Committee issued a formal opinion on Ethical Obligations for Attorneys Using Social Media (HT: Dan Siegel on Legal Intelligencer). The opinion is jam-packed with 18 pages of social media goodness on 10 main issues.

Spoiler Alert! The committee concludes that:
1. Attorneys may advise clients about the content of their social networking websites, including the removal or addition of information. 
2. Attorneys may connect with clients and former clients. 
3. Attorneys may not contact a represented person through social networking websites. 
4. Although attorneys may contact an unrepresented person through social networking websites, they may not use a pretextual basis for viewing otherwise private information on social networking websites. 
5. Attorneys may use information on social networking websites in a dispute. 
6. Attorneys may accept client reviews but must monitor those reviews for accuracy. 
7. Attorneys may generally comment or respond to reviews or endorsements, and may solicit such endorsements. 
8. Attorneys may generally endorse other attorneys on social networking websites. 
9. Attorneys may review a juror’s Internet presence. 
10. Attorneys may connect with judges on social networking websites provided the purpose is not to influence the judge in carrying out his or her official duties.
Check out the full opinion for further analysis and explanations.