In my last post, I wrote about 4 social media concerns for lawyers. I drew my inspiration from a recent Formal Opinion issued by the Pennsylvania Bar Association regarding the Ethical Obligations for Attorneys Using Social Media. Below, I list the ten conclusions reached by the Committee, and you can read the entire opinion here, courtesy of lead author Daniel J. Siegel, Esq.* Later this week, I'll share my reaction to the opinion and what it means for your practice.
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 webites.
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.
* Please note that Mr. Siegel practices law in Havertown, Pennsylvania, which only reinforces the notion that Havertown is the center of the universe.