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What is social media?
Rule of thumb:

If you dont use it,

dont practice it.
Becoming a Digital Citizen
We are beta testing the global power of the social
We are in the alpha phase with the law and how
it will manage, shape and react to the social
social media...

How to Effectively Use

Social Media as a Lawyer
Twitter Issues:


Abuse Issues- Unwanted Interaction

The 140 Character Attorney-Client Relationship

Following the Right People

Sharing Relevant Information

Attracting Clients Without Giving Counsel

Tumblr/Blog Issues:

The Comment Roll (Troll)

Co-Blogging Issues (Copyright)

Consistency of Useful Content

Quora Issues:

Answering direct legal advice questions

Disclaiming your interaction on the site

Facebook Issues:



Likes, Comments, Pokes

talking about my reputation

What You Can and

Cant Do With Online Reviews
The Case:

Review about Legal Eagle, Esq.

- undereducated
- ill prepared
- exorbitant cost
You cannot sue over opinions.
Better question: Do you want to sue?

(especially in California)
the game plan

How to Effectively Use

Social Media as a Lawyer
Tips for Using Social Media Wisely

Designate someone to manage social media

Decide who does and doesnt get to use it

Maintain a schedule

Make it a habit, something you enjoy

Tips for Monitoring Employee Social Media Use

NLRB Decisions

Apply offline principles to the online world

Tips for Monitoring Employee Social Media Use

There is no federal law that specifically prohibits

employers from monitoring employee social
media use.
Tips for Monitoring Employee Social Media Use

Issues arise with the time and place of the social

media use, personal v. firm accounts.
Tips for Monitoring Employee Social Media Use

Employer Phones

Personal Phones

Employer Computers

Personal Accounts
Tips for Monitoring Employee Social Media Use

Recent Cases

Stengart v. Loving Care Agency (2010)

Holmes v. Petrovich Development Company LLC


Sitton v. Print Direction, Inc. (2011)

uncharted legal territory

Distinguishing Fourth Amendment from privacy
in the civil sense.
Electronic Communications Privacy Act
Personally Identifiable Information (Pii)
Personally identifiable information is information that
identifies a particular person. Pii includes:

Full name;
National identification number;
IP address;
Vehicle registration plate number;
Drivers license number;
Credit card numbers;
Digital identity;
Date of birth;
Birthplace; and
Genetic information.
Data collection:

Obvious v. Inferential
social networking platforms = corporate-created
legal regimes

Problem #1: The laws around data reside in
industry silos.
Problem #2: They arent getting it in DC.
Silicon Valley, Alley, Beach > DC
Ok, I do have some <3 for the FTC.
Problem #3: This isnt going away.
Privacy policies and practices in their current
incarnation are not working.
Recent Supreme Court Development:

United States v. Jones

regulation...or attempts thereof

Few pieces of key legislation:

Do Not Track Act

Commercial Privacy Bill of Rights Act of 2011

Personal Data Privacy and Security Act

Secure and Fortify Electronics Data Act (SAFE)

Data Security and Breach Notification Act

FTC Action

Opting Out = ScanScout

Childrens Privacy = SkidKids

Regulation stymies
innovation and economic growth.
Self Regulation stymies
innovation and economic growth.
Voluntary implementation just seems smart
and frankly less cumbersome than a federal or
state-by-state legal regime.
We can work to create a marketplace that
rewards privacy by design while promoting
commercial issues

FTC Disclosure Rules
5 Quick Tips Overview

Testimonials with atypical results - must disclose

what is normally expected

Bloggers who are paid to make endorsements must

disclose it

Must disclose connections between research &

advertiser if using a research report

Paid endorsements deceptive if they make false or

misleading claims.

Advertisers & endorsers liable for false or

unsubstantiated claims
avoiding Oh S**t moments
(or advising clients through them)

Liability Issues &

Social Media
Two behemoth laws regulate user-generated
content: the DMCA and the CDA.
DMCA = Intellectual Property

CDA = Defamatory Content

Both laws stem from the need to provide some
shield to ISPs from the actions of their users.
DMCA = Intellectual Property

Safe Harbors

512(a)- Safe harbor for infringement of copyright by reason

of the [ISPs] transmitting, routing, or providing
connections for infringing material.

512(b) Safe harbor that provides immunity for system


512(c)- Safe harbor that provides immunity for information

residing on the ISPs systems at the direction of users

512(d)- Safe harbor that provides immunity for information

location tools such as search engines.
Names you have probably heard associated
with the DMCA:



The Pirate Bay

When the law gets complex:

Sampling and Mashups

CDA = Defamatory Content (generally)

Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act

General Rule:

If a website is involved in any way in the creation or

development of the information, they will likely be
considered an information content provider. These
opens them to liability.

Fraley v. Facebook, Inc.

Zango v. Kapersky Lab

Doe v. MySpace

Data Breach

State Level Compliance

Federal Regulation

Regulatory Efforts by White House and Dept. of

Federal Regulation

Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA)

Perpetrating crimes on a computer


Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act

Cyber Bullying

Binding Contracts
Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act

Requires websites to get parental consent before

collecting or sharing info for children under 13

Enforced by the Federal Trade Commission

Applies to commercial websites and other online


If you know you have minors on your site, close

the accounts
Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act

Regulates all types of identifying information

Exemptions: electronic postcards, contests, online

newsletters, homework help

Example: Disneys Club Penguin

If you know you have minors on your site, close

the accounts
Childrens Online Privacy Protection Act

To comply:

Post a privacy policy/advise whenever personal

information collected

Parental notice, consent, access to information

Cant condition participation on providing

more info

Confidentiality & security of information

collected from children
Cyber Bullying


Use of the Internet and other technologies to

harm other people through deliberate,
repeated and hostile behavior
Cyber Bullying

Legislative Attempts in CA:

AB 9 Seths Law

AB 1156 Definition of Bullying

AB 746 Student Behavior on SNS Sites

SB 719 Bullying Prevention for School Safety

and Crime Reduction Act of 2003

AB 86 (2008 Code) Pupil Safety

Cyber Bullying

Supreme Court Declines Intervening:

Metes and bounds of schools authority in

these situations
Binding Contracts

So many contracts online & so many minors

stay outta trouble

Ethical Issues for Attorneys


Attorney-Client Relationship Formation

Client Confidentiality

Trial Publicity

Fee Splitting Using Crowdsourced Services

Cloud Storage of Client Files

Ex Parte Communications

Relationships Online with Judges

Relationships Online with Jurors

Whats Discoverable Online

ETHICS! Attorney-Client Relationship Formation

Accidental Clients- When does someone become a

prospective client?

ABA Rule 1.18 - Prospective Clients

ETHICS! Client Confidentiality

CA Evidence Code Section 950

ABA Rule 1.18 - discussions with prospective

clients are confidential

Both of these issues can be solved by website

disclaimers - California Formal Op. no. 2005-168
ETHICS! Trial Publicity

California Rule of Professional Conduct 5-120

Extrajudicial Statements

Avoiding prejudicial effects

Dont say anything you wouldnt in a phone call or

press release
ETHICS! Fee Splitting Using Crowdsourced

CRPC 1-320 - Can directly or indirectly split fees

with a non-lawyer

Can be part of a lawyer referral service

Terms of Use Rule- Obligation on You

ABA Rules Implicated: 1.18, 5.5, 7.1, 7.4

ETHICS! Cloud Storage of Client Files

Defined: Shared Pool of Storage Resources Hosted


If these services are compromised, you are

compromising your clients confidential
ETHICS! Ex Parte Communications

Rule 5-300 - Contact with Officials

On a case, social media use being considered

ex parte communication

(Judge Brown follows you on Twitter)

ETHICS! Relationships Online with Judges

Judges involvement limited in online social

networking communities

No rule barring it, but the appearance of

impropriety appears

Check California Judicial Ethics Commission

ETHICS! Relationships Online with Jurors

Rule 5-320 - You are barred from having contact

with your jurors

Its no different on Twitter & Facebook.

Sleuthing through old high school friends

ETHICS! Whats Discoverable Online

Social Media profiles are fair game

But how you access them could be an issue

We just scratched the surface.

Christina Gagnier