Friday, February 04, 2011

Social Media Posts by a 3rd Party: FL Bar Rules

Ethics in Blogging was the topic of a presentation I made this morning at the Broward County Bar Association, with co-presenter Alan Anthony Pascal, Esq. of The Florida Bar.

Posts to a lawyer's social media page by a third party was one of the topics we covered. Below please find some highlights from the Florida Bar Guidelines for Networking Sites, which applies to Florida attorneys as well as lawyers from other states who are soliciting business in Florida.

Third Party Posts

"Although lawyers are responsible for all content that the lawyers post on their own pages, a lawyer is not responsible for information posted on the lawyer’s page by a third party, unless the lawyer prompts the third party to post the information or the lawyer uses the third party to circumvent the lawyer advertising rules."

Removal of Non-Compliant Information from a Lawyer's Page

"If a third party posts information on the lawyer’s page about the lawyer’s services that does not comply with the lawyer advertising rules, the lawyer must remove the information from the lawyer’s page."

Request for Removal of Info on a Page Not Controlled by the Attorney

"If the lawyer becomes aware that a third party has posted information about the lawyer’s services on a page not controlled by the lawyer that does not comply with the lawyer advertising rules, the lawyer should ask the third party to remove the non-complying information. In such a situation, however, the lawyer is not responsible if the third party does not comply with the lawyer’s request."

Lawyer Social Media Pages are Exempt from Filing

"Finally, the Standing Committee on Advertising is of the opinion that a page on a networking site is sufficiently similar to a website of a lawyer or law firm that pages on networking sites are not required to be filed with The Florida Bar for review."

Page references in these guidelines can include a LinkedIn profile, a blog comment, Twitter profile, Facebook page, etc.

Read the Florida Bar Guidelines for Networking Sites here.

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