Social Media Ethics Alert: Your Social Media Profile is Governed by Bar Ethics Rules

December 4, 2014

While each jurisdiction contains unique rules, interpretations, and advisory opinions that clarify the appropriate use of technology for social media marketing and blogs, there is one rule of thumb that should be applied regardless of where your firm is located or where you are practicing:

Ensure that your social media profile complies with your jurisdiction’s ethical rules.

As a general rule, social media profiles that are used in any way to promote a lawyer or law firm’s practice are subject to the lawyer advertising rules. Attorney social media profiles pages must therefore comply with all the advertising ethics rules in their jurisdiction, including prohibitions against any misleading information, references to past results, promises of results and testimonials, and statements characterizing the quality of legal services.

Furthermore, references to past results must be objectively verifiable, predictions or guaranties of results are prohibited, and testimonials that fail to comply with the requirements of the applicable rules will cause serious problems. Attorneys should also avoid statements characterizing skills, experience, reputation or record unless they are objectively verifiable.

What all lawyers must do to avoid serious social media ethics problems?

All lawyers and law firms must review their applicable lawyer advertising rules in their entirety to comply with their requirements. They must also stay up to date on both in-state and out-of-state advertising guidelines, ethics opinions, and legal decisions to understand how the rules in their jurisdiction will apply to their social media activity.

How to Comply with Social Media and Blog Ethics Rules

In the event you don’t have time to conduct a thorough investigation of the applicable rules, you can still learn how to avoid problems with your state bar association when using social media to market your practice right from the comfort of your desk. At my upcoming webinar on December 11 titled “Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls in Social Media Marketing and Blogs, I will teach you how to comply with bar ethics rules relating to social media marketing and blogs – and you’ll earn 1.5 CLE ethics credits.

December 11 | 12:00-1:30 Est | $150 Live or OnDemand

1.5 Hours of Ethics Credits Approved in Florida, Georgia, and Louisiana

Approval Pending for 1.5 Hours of Ethics Credits in California

Register Now for the Avoiding Ethical Pitfalls WebinarWhat You’ll Learn:

Social media law attorney, author, professor, and keynote speaker Ethan Wall will:

  • Identify common ethical pitfalls with online marketing and blogs
  • Breakdown actual Bar ethical guidelines, opinions, and cases
  • Implement best practices to avoid ethical pitfalls in social media marketing and blogs

Who Should Attend:

  • Attorneys
  • Legal Marketing Professionals
  • Law Firm Staff

Questions About the Webinar

  • Email: webinars@socialmedialawandorder.com
  • Call: (407)484-5100

Contact Us Today for a Free Consultation

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