As Mentioned Above Confidentiality

The sources above are from the aba model rules of professional conduct, which serve as a widely recognized standard for legal ethics in the united states. For jurisdiction-specific rules, you’re going to need to consult your relevant regulating body.

As mentioned above, confidentiality is a legal obligation lawyers must uphold on social media. The ABA released Formal Opinion 18-480 in March 2018, addressing lawyers posting on blogs and social media specifically. It concludes that online communications (even with information that’s in the public record) fall under Model Rule.

While we more or less covered this above, we have yet to touch on hypotheticals. Let’s say, hypothetically, you just finished up the most interesting case of your career. One stranger than fiction,

Avoid Communication That Indicates

That crime novelists everywhere want to emulate. So you change the names, dates, and locations, then post a case study outlining the case.

If readers can understand which situation it was or business lead guess the identity of your client from the details you gave, you could be held in violation of rule 1.6. To avoid violating model rule 1.6, you must be absolutely certain you’re not sharing any identifiable details or information.

Be aware of potential conflicts of interest. Above, we discussed avoiding engaging with others on social media who could pose a conflict of interest with your clients. You must also avoid engaging in communication or even accepting contact with judges on social media.

Permission for Gated Content and Accounts

This can create an appearance of judicial partiality according to formal ethics op. 8 and rule 8.4. Be wary of the friend requests you accept on your social media accounts.

Lawyers are allowed to view and BO Leads interact with public-facing content. For private accounts and content, however, you may need to ask permission (if the individual is represented, then from their lawyer) and identify yourself as a lawyer.

Also, when it comes to jurors, it’s best to leave them alone on social media. You can review their internet presence, including postings and public accounts. But you cannot request access to private accounts or interact with their posts, which would be in violation of model rule.

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