Mar 25 by jason

Social media tips for personal injury plaintiffs

Everything that’s posted on social media is considered public, and even the most well meaning remarks about a personal injury claim could potentially be used against a plaintiff by the defense. For this reason, we’ve assembled the following social media guidelines for personal injury plaintiffs currently involved in litigation.

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Jan 20 by jason

Winter Holiday Charity Contest Case Study

For most companies, the end of the year is a time to give. Holiday season coincides with fiscal deadlines…encouraging tax-deductible giving to non-profits and charities. But just because…

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Jul 05 by GJEL

Business as Usual for Lawyers on Social Media

There has been much controversy surrounding the American Bar Association’s decision to evaluate and revise its position on social media for lawyers. The ABA Commission on Ethics 20/20 has solicited guidance from dozens of lawyers across the country and has said repeatedly that any changes are not likely to be earth shattering. But views on both sides of this issue are strong and while some lawyers have been outspoken in their defense of social media, others have said that too much online interaction could cross important ethical borders. This week, the ABA released its initial proposal on the use of technology for client development, and for all intents and purposes, we’re looking at business as usual for lawyers and judges.

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Jun 03 by GJEL

California Judges Debate Social Media Use

Social media is a great way to stay connected with friends and family members. But as a professional development tool, the purpose of social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter is far less clear. So far, many lawyers and judges have opted to steer clear of the web when it comes to professional contacts, and the American Bar Association has even said that it plans to address the ethics of social media use for lawyers. Last week, the San Francisco Recorder tackled the subject in a profile of a number of Bay Area judges. Perhaps it wont come as a surprise that their opinions differed quite a bit.

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Apr 04 by GJEL

5 Most Dangerous Distracted Driving Technologies

When people talk about technology related to distracted driving, they usually mean gadgets that make the roads safer by making distracted driving more difficult. But thanks to the tech “arms race” among car manufacturers, these companies have a economic interest in providing high-tech solutions to distracted driving laws, even if they don’t make you safer. So as we enter into the second annual Distracted Driving Awareness Month, we wanted to highlight some of the most dangerous technologies designed to address distracted driving. Click through to take a look.

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Mar 22 by GJEL

Attorney Rating Site Reviews

Before massive layoffs at the country’s major law firms, before major cuts to the funding of free legal aid clinics, and before before the meteoric rise of Google, consumers relied on lawyer referrals for legal representation. Once search engines took over, however, and we grew used to accessing the world from our desktops, consumers turned to the web. So we’ve compiled some information about the four major legal raters, their differences, and their main qualities.

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Feb 01 by GJEL

Can Social Media Use Get You Fired? Interview with Employment Lawyer Laura Maechtlen

If you work in an office, the chances are that you’ve used social media at work before. Hopefully, you keep personal use of social media communities like Facebook and Twitter to a minimum during work hours. New reports have found that more than half of employers in the United States view social media use as so harmful to productivity that they’ve banned it altogether. Companies that have not taken this drastic step, however, have run in to a variety of problems related to social media use, which has led to embarrassment, terminations, and even costly lawsuits.

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Dec 29 by GJEL

Courts Still Unclear on Social Media Discovery for Personal Injury Lawsuits

Over the past five years, Facebook has evolved from a scrappy web upstart to a worldwide phenomenon with more than 500 million members. Even outside the social sphere, Facebook has also become a force in professional communities, and was the subject of the year’s most engaging film, The Social Network. But when it comes to law, the jury is still out on Facebook, as state courts continue to debate whether information gathered on Facebook should be admissible during the discovery process leading up to a legal showdown.

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Dec 22 by GJEL

Good News for Lawyers on Social Media

There are two sides to the debate about whether state bar associations should enforce stricter regulations on attorney advertising. First, there’s the question of whether the courts should regulate what attorneys can say in print ads. At the center of this debate is the use of nick names, and client testimonials. On the other side, attorneys have been debating whether attorney social media use amounts to advertising and should therefore warrant special regulations. For both of these debates, authorities have recently issued encouraging decisions that indicate a less restrictive view toward advertising and social media.

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Sep 28 by GJEL

Personal Injury Plaintiff Ordered to Reveal Facebook Data

Thanks to the ever-changing role of the Internet in public and private life, the role of eDiscovery is constantly evolving. Adding weight to this, a New York judge recently ordered personal injury plaintiff Kathleen Romano to turn over information from her Facebook and MySpace pages, arguing that they could shed some light on whether she was, in fact, subject to emotional distress following her fall from a desk chair back in 2003. Keeping the Facebook information private, Justice Jeffrey Arlen Spinner ruled, “not only would go against the liberal discovery policies of New York favoring pretrial disclosure, but would condone Plaintiff’s attempt to hide relevant information behind self-regulated privacy settings.”

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Sep 01 by GJEL

Sanctioned Florida Lawyer Sues Avvo, Threatens Free Speech

If I were a lawyer who had been sanctioned for unethical behavior, I’d probably try to avoid attracting attention to myself. But Florida attorney Joe Davis is taking a different approach, and has formally sued Avvo, the social media and information website for lawyers and consumers, for revealing that he had been sanctioned for professional misconduct. Needless to say, Avvo is not backing down since increasing transparency in the legal process is exactly what the pioneering website has set out to do.

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Aug 24 by GJEL

Legal Ethics Expert Diane Karpman: Social Media Regulations for Lawyers a Violation of Free Speech

No matter what your profession, web culture and social media has become a major force over the past decade and promises to continue it’s influence in the future. But lawyers have been, on average, more resistant to new technologies than professionals in other fields. There are many reasons for this, one of which includes restrictions on legal advertising that have not stayed current with the tech zeitgeist. I spoke with legal ethics expert Diane Karpman about these regulations, the distinction between social media and advertising, and the importance of lawyers interacting with clients online.

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Apr 29 by Ben

The Importance of Social Media vs. Marketing

I just sat in on Avvo’s webinar on “Ethical Issues in Online Advertising and Social Media” and wanted to share some thoughts. I’ve recently been fascinated by the intersection of communication and advertising, which has become increasingly interesting with the rise of social media and online marketing. Here on the GJEL blog, for example, we write about developments in distracted driving legislation, teen drivers, and other issues related to consumer safety because we have a deep interest and want a better market for consumers.

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