Some of the critical ingredients to professional “success” include some combination of skill and marketability. Either, on their own, are insufficient for professional’s to meet their goals. Today, marketing takes many forms – whether through social media, television, or traditional print. Developing an effective message and reaching the right audience are just as important as developing the skills of your trade. Many professionals have turned to blogs and other forms of social media as a form of marketing. However, these avenues of communication are not …Continue Reading
Tweet with caution. It only takes 140 characters for professionals to embarrass themselves or worse. Social media has many advantages. No doubt. But, many users could benefit from an “unsend” option after their post has already infiltrated cyberspace. Of course this option doesn’t exist. We’ve all heard stories of the impulsive, ill-advised posts (like these), an embarrassing typo (like this) , or the heat of the moment tweet (like this) sent hastily without a second thought. In certain circumstances these posts go …Continue Reading
Social media issues arising out of the workplace are ever-changing. Your friends at Professional Liability Matters recently discussed the potential consequences to employees for posting objectionable personal information on Facebook. However, a novel decision from the Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals on Wednesday may turn the tables on employers who take retaliatory action against employees based upon their Facebook activity. Spoiler alert… Facebook “likes” are protected free speech under the First Amendment.
In Bland v. Roberts, 2013 U.S. App. LEXIS 19268 (Sept. 18, 2013), …Continue Reading
Plaintiff Deborah Ehling thought she could comment freely on Facebook because she limited her posts to a restricted group of her “friends” and her posts were not available to the general public. She was wrong. When her employer learned of her controversial posts and terminated her, she thought she had recourse. She was wrong. In an important ruling for employers, the District Court of New Jersey recently dismissed Ehling v. Monmouth-Ocean Hospital Service Corp., et al., (August 20, 2013). This case put to …Continue Reading
Most professionals utilize a LinkedIn profile and/or a professional Facebook page. A large proportion of LinkedIn’s 150 million users are professionals; about 2% of which are attorneys. The proliferation of social media use by professionals has sparked debate regarding the collision between ethics and online marketing. This is particularly so because the standard, one-size-fits-all format available to social media users do not take into account that many professionals must adhere to state specific ethical rules when advertising. This gap has prompted some serious ethical concerns.…Continue Reading
The proliferation of social media has altered the litigation landscape. Most attorneys on both sides of the v. understand the implications of social media, particularly during the discovery stage. Nonetheless, the law governing social media and discovery is still in its infancy. The result is troublesome: practitioners encounter social media issues but the rules governing those scenarios are not entirely clear. One rule that is well established is the requirement that a legal hold be implemented for all relevant materials, including social media content. The …Continue Reading
Fact: most professionals use social media in one form or another. Fact: Professional Liability Matters has previously warned of the various risks associated with LinkedIn, Facebook, and other online communications. Nonetheless, we continue to encounter seemingly countless reminders of missteps by professionals through presumably well-intentioned social media use. Recently, a Facebook post from a New York based attorney resulted in a fight over sanctions.
Last month an NY attorney found himself in hot water after posting a picture of himself and a client …Continue Reading
We’re inundated with online advice, whether solicited or not. Many of us utilize various online sources to obtain quick answers without live, in-person consultation from a licensed professional. WebMD is the classic example of such a site but there are countless others devoted to providing professional advice to an unknown audience. We previously warned of the malpractice and ethical risks of providing online professional services when we posted about the lawsuit filed against Dr. Oz following his infamous “sleep aid solution.” To combat these risks, …Continue Reading
In June 2012, the popular social networking website LinkedIn was hacked resulting in approximately 6.4 million passwords stolen from the website. Within hours of the incident, the passwords were posted on the internet and were used to direct traffic to fraudulent websites. The massive security breach also resulted in a class action lawsuit against “the world’s largest professional network” in the Northern District of California. The plaintiff class alleged that LinkedIn failed to adequately and properly secure the personal information stored on its …Continue Reading
A New Jersey federal judge recently ruled that a plaintiff’s deletion of his Facebook account amounted to the sanctionable destruction of evidence. This decision has major implications on social media discovery in all litigation. Some (Law360 – subscription required) experts believe that this result proves that “social media access is fair game in litigation and that workers who try to conceal their online lives will pay a high price.”
In Gatto v. United Air Lines, Inc., the plaintiff sought damages arising from personal injuries allegedly …Continue Reading