The MSBA has a presence on the three most popular social media services and also established a site limited to members of the Minnesota legal profession:
Join the MSBA group on Linkedin. Network, discuss, and connect with other Minnesota attorneys. We’re up to 661 members as of this posting.
Become a MSBA fan on Facebook. Stay up-to-date with events and news.
Sign up for mypractice. Mypractice is similar to other social and professional networking sites, but focuses solely on the Minnesota legal profession. Membership is limited to Minnesota law students, Minnesota attorneys, and members of the MSBA. Take a tour.
But as with almost everything a lawyer touches, social media use brings up plenty of gray areas. Avoid social media at your peril, but use it at your peril. What’s a lawyer to do? Here at practicelaw, we think social media represents one of the ways changes in technology have influenced how we can and do interact. Even if you think Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn are just fads, it’s hard to deny that the underlying shift in how we communicate is here to stay. The ethical implications of social media use is an important topic to ponder. There is no shortage of discussion about the tension between ethics and social media. No doubt the early advisory opinions and lawsuits are just a hint of what’s to come.
As local attorney Eric Cooperstein pointed out, Facebook ethics is not really about Facebook. Ultimately, a lawyer is responsible for his or her conduct, and the medium is not to blame. My two cents? Be aware of your privacy settings, but assume everyone can see what you post, use common sense, follow the golden rule, and read up on some of the ethical issues.
Common areas of concern are lawyer-judge, lawyer-witness, and lawyer-client connections, as well as other discovery and confidentiality issues. Not to mention your rights as a user. We hope to take a more in-depth look at this in the future, but for now, here is a roundup of relevant articles:
Georgia Judge Resigns After Questions Raised About Facebook Contacts
Judge Reprimanded for Discussing Case on Facebook
Judge Reprimanded for Friending Lawyer and Googling Litigant
Can a Judge have Facebook Friends? It Depends on What State They Work In
Florida Ethics Panel Urges Judges to Unfriend Lawyers from Their Facebook Pages
A Judge is a Web 2.0 Professional Island
Florida Supreme Court – Judicial Ethics Advisory Committee – Opinion No. 2009-20
For Judges on Facebook, Friendship Has Limits
Connecting with Clients and Opposing Counsel
Maintaining Integrity of the Profession
Social Media Policies, Employment
Privacy, Free Speech, Liability
Didn’t You Know? Facebook is Forever
Client Trashes Her Celebrity Lawyer on Twitter
Shuold There Be an Expectation of Permanent Anonymity Online?
Tenant Sued After Using Twitter to Complain about Moldy Apartment
Professional Facebook Privacy in Under 10 Minutes
Banking Tweet Puts Man on Hot Seat, Facing Potential Criminal Charge
Posted by Andrea Hable