June 08, 2016 Articles

Attorney Ethics in the Age of Social Media

The ABA's decision not to expressly address social media has left attorneys little national guidance.

By Saleel V. Sabnis

Social media permeate all facets of our lives, capturing everything from our latest meal to cherished rites of passage. Attorneys who exhibit a dismissive attitude toward this revolution are jeopardizing their practice. Social media are an unrivaled resource, often providing a wealth of information about a user that can be a potential gold mine for litigators. Yet, with great advances in this technology come great responsibilities for attorneys to mold their behavior in accessing and managing this information within the parameters of the Model Rules of Professional Conduct and governing bar association rules. Social media present new ethical dilemmas for attorneys, which have only begun to receive appropriate attention in recent years.

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