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28 Touro L. Rev. 149 (2012)
Lawyers and Social Media: The Legal Ethics of Tweeting, Facebooking and Blogging

handle is hein.journals/touro28 and id is 153 raw text is: LAWYERS AND SOCIAL MEDIA: THE LEGAL ETHICS OF
By Michael E. Lackey Jr.* and Joseph P. Minta*
Lawyers should not-and often cannot-avoid social media.
Americans spend more than 20% of their online time on social media
websites, which is more than any other single type of website.1 Many
young lawyers grew up using the Internet and spent most of their
college and law school years using social media sites. Some older
attorneys have found that professionally-focused social media sites
are valuable networking tools, and few big companies or law firms
would ignore the marketing potential of websites like Facebook,
Twitter, LinkedIn or YouTube. Finally, for litigators, these sites pro-
vide valuable information about witnesses and opposing parties.2
Yet social media sites are also rife with professional hazards
for unwary attorneys. Rapidly evolving legal doctrines, fast-paced
technological developments, a set of laws and professional rules writ-
ten for the offline world, and the Internet's infancy provide only an
incomplete map for lawyers trying to navigate the social media land-
Recent developments in social media technology are exposing
the tensions inherent in older ethical rules and provoking difficult
questions for lawyers seeking to take advantage of this new technolo-
. Michael E. Lackey, Jr. is a litigation partner in the Washington, D.C. office of Mayer
Brown LLP.
** Joseph P. Minta is a litigation associate in the Washington, D.C. office of Mayer Brown
This article expresses the views of the authors, but not of the firm.
What Americans Do Online: Social Media and Games Dominate Activity, NIELSEN WIRE
(Aug. 2, 2010), http://blog.nielsen.com/nielsenwire/online-mobile/what-americans-do-
online-social-media-and-games-dominate-activity/. This number jumps to more than twen-
ty-five percent when video-viewing sites like YouTube are added to the total. Id.
2 Steven Seidenberg, Seduced: For Lawyers, the Appeal of Social Media Is Obvious, It's
Also Dangerous, 97 A.B.A. J. 48, 51 (2011).


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