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2 pages/≈550 words
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5 Sources
Level:
APA
Subject:
Law
Type:
Coursework
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English (U.S.)
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Topic:

Ethical Use of Facebook by Attorneys Paper #2 (Coursework Sample)

Instructions:

Facebook is a social networking website that allows users to create their profiles and keep in touch with relatives, colleagues or friends by sharing  information, messages, photos and other contents using words, videos, photographs and other communication methods

(Chester, 2012). Facebook offers fast-hand possibilities in how information is obtained or manipulated. Attorneys’ use of social media is an issue that has raised ethical issues regarding information following and reporting (Browning, 2010). 

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PROJECT ---- Ethical Use of Facebook by Attorneys
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Ethical Use of Facebook by Attorneys
Facebook is a social networking website that allows users to create their profiles and keep in touch with relatives, colleagues or friends by sharing information, messages, photos and other contents using words, videos, photographs and other communication methods
(Chester, 2012). Facebook offers fast-hand possibilities in how information is obtained or manipulated. Attorneys' use of social media is an issue that has raised ethical issues regarding information following and reporting (Browning, 2010).
The ABA Model Rules, specifically RPC 4.1 (Truthfulness in Statements to Others) prohibits attorneys from making false or misleading statements. This rules have also been extended to social media websites. For example, The South Carolina Ethics Opinion 12-03, concluded that lawyers may not participate in social media websites that allow non-lawyer users to post legal questions (McHale & Garulay, 2012). Solicitations by an attorney in terms of advertising themselves using Facebook or offering to provide legal services for monetary gains are restricted under RPC 7.3 and equivalent state ethics rules (ABA, 2014).
Facebook and other social media platforms creates a potential risk of disclosing privileged or confidential information such as the identity of a current or former client. Consistent with, ABA Formal Opinion 10-457 rules, lawyers have a duty to protect confidential information of their current clients (RPC 1.6), former clients (RPC 1.9), and prospective clients (RPC 1.18) (ABA, 2014). The rules provides that lawyers must obtain the consent of the client before posting any information about them on social websites. Social media websites such as Facebook are a content-driven environments where users are accustomed to updating their profiles and commenting casually on day-to-day activities, including work-related activities. Attorneys must be very careful to avoid commenting or posting information that conceivably violates confidentiality obligations including tagging of posts or photos that violates those obligations (Chester, 2012). This would also be necessary to avoid lawyers getting themselves in prosecutable ethical crosshairs.
A committee called the American Bar Association's Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility in 2012 undertook a review of Juror's internet presence as a response to the increased relevance of the issue in the judicial service (Dunn & Federal Judicial Center, 2014). The formal review focused on whether attorneys should review juror's internet presence and the ethical obligations that arises as a result of such a privilege. The Committee examined Model Rule 3.5 of the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct, which addresses the issue of attorneys' communications with jurors during the duration when a trial is in progress. Under Model Rule 3.5, attorneys are prevented by the Model Rules from communicating with a juror before or during a trial or directing any of their agents to engage in such communication on their behalf (Dunn & Federal Judicial Center, 2014). The committee based on these rules concluded that such a communication was improper as it has the potential of influencing a juror's conduct in handling a tri...
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