New York State Bar Issues “Guidelines” on Lawyer Use of Social Media

The opinion is here.  It discusses these points, and is worth a read:

  • Attorney Advertising
  • Furnishing of Legal Advice Through Social Media
  • Review and Use of Evidence from Social Media
  • Ethically Communicating with Clients
  • Researching Social Media Profiles or Posts of Prospective and Sitting Jurors and Reporting Juror Misconduct

I’ve written up a paper on judicial ethics and social media which I’ll post soon.  There’s a lot of gray out there…

About David

Professor of Law, Mercer University School of Law. Formerly Of Counsel, Taylor English Duma, LLP and in 2012-13, judicial clerk to Chief Judge Rader.

One thought on “New York State Bar Issues “Guidelines” on Lawyer Use of Social Media

  1. 1

    Guideline No. 4.C: False Social Media Statements

    A lawyer is prohibited from proffering, supporting, or using false statements if she learns from a client’s social media posting that a client’s lawsuit involves the assertion of material false factual statement or evidence supports such a conclusion.38

    NYRPC 3.1, 3.3, 3.4, 4.1, 8.4.

    Comment: A lawyer has an ethical obligation not to “bring or defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so that is not frivolous.” NYRPC 3.1(a). Frivolous conduct includes the knowing assertion of “material factual statements that are false.” NYRPC 3.1(b)(3). See also NYRPC 3.3; 4.1 (“In the course of representing a client, a lawyer shall not knowingly make a false statement of fact or law to a third person.”).

    Hmm – does this frivolous conduct include knowingly false statements made on blogs under the guise of “First Amendment” rights? Are there related rules in most other state ethics guidelines?

    Certain posters like Malcolm may want to pay attention.

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