The New York State Bar Association's Commercial and Federal Litigation Section has updated its Social Media Ethics Guidelines, a comprehensive document intended to provide guiding principles for attorneys using social media. The Guidelines, first issued in 2014, seek to update attorney "best practices" but recognize that they "will continue to evolve" with new social media platforms and changing uses. The Guidelines provide a one-stop-shop for attorneys to discover the applicable ethical obligations triggered by social media interaction.
The new edition includes case law commentary and recent social media ethics opinions from various states throughout the U.S. They also include revised provisions on lawyer competence, retention of social media by lawyers, client confidences, potential positional conflicts of interest associated with social media posts. The Guidelines note that a majority of states (27) have adopted rules requiring attorneys to keep abreast of the ethical issues when interfacing with social media.
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