Wednesday, May 12, 2010

The Internet Highlights Lawyer Ethical Lapses

We've discussed risks tied to new internet technologies like social networking and blogging in the past and pointed readers to resources for enhnacing firm policies and practices. The National Law Journal just published an interesting article on the same topic: "Lawyers' Ethical Stumbles Increase Online."
  • Social networking "...by attorneys and all its potential dangers is being closely monitored in nearly every corner of the legal profession. Disgruntled clients, lawyers outing other lawyers, and bar counsel themselves are sparking investigations. Law firms host seminars and webinars on it. And bar counsel and bar associations bring it up at nearly every meeting."
  • "It's not as if lawyers never misbehaved before. But now they're making the same old mistakes -- soliciting for sex, slamming judges, talking trash about clients -- online, leaving a digital trail for bar counsel to follow. Legal ethics expert Michael Downey said lawyers' tendency to be risk-averse seems to fade away on the internet."
This article reviews a slew of embarassing, off color and inappropriate public comments and disclosures by legal professionals, enough to make any law firm think about reviewing and revising its own internal policies.

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