NJ School Districts Rush to Create Social Media Policies to Comply with S411

NJ

NJ School Districts Rush to Create Social Media Policies to Comply with S411

In an effort to comply with S411 school districts across New Jersey are creating policies on social media.  The article below highlights some of the challenges that arise with creating such a policy.

Patch.com: Brick School Board Adopts Social Media Policy, But Some Feel It Goes Too Far

U.S. v. Lori Drew: The Backstory

myspace

U.S. v. Lori Drew: The Backstory

Most know the story about Lori Drew but for those who don’t here is a brief synopsis.  In 2006, Lori Drew, a 49-year-old mother from Missouri, created a Myspace page with the picture of a fictitious 16-year-old boy named Josh Evans. Lori Drew created this account to befriend 13-year-old Megan Meir, a one-time friend and classmate of Lori Drew’s daughter.  Lori Drew believed that this bogus Myspace account would allow her to learn whether Megan Meier was spreading rumors about her daughter. Acting as Josh Evans, Lori Drew would flirt with Megan Meier on Myspace. The relationship eventually turned sour and Lori Drew, through Josh Evans, told Megan Meier that the world would be a better place without her. Shortly thereafter, Megan Meier committed suicide.

The federal government prosecuted Lori Drew under the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act but was unsuccessful. The article below helps to fill in some of the backstory surrounding this case and the underlying facts. It was written by the reporter who broke the original story.

Springfield News Leader: Pokin Around: The story of Megan Meier’s suicide

9th Circuit Pushes Back on Obtaining Internet Information from Sex Offenders: Doe v. Harris

9th Circuit

Yesterday, the 9th Circuit issued a three judge panel opinion (Doe v. Harris) which struck down portions of Californians Against Sexual Exploitation (“CASE”) Act or Proposition 35. The panel found certain aspects of the CASE Act as applied to sex offenders, no longer under the jurisdiction of the court e.g., probation or parole, to be unconstitutional. Specifically, the panel struck down requiring registered sex offenders to provide law enforcement with all Internet names and addresses that they use in social media, instant messaging, and Web posts. This 9th Circuit panel decision follows in the footsteps of other federal courts that have struck down similar laws.

Law Firms and Social Media

Here is an interesting post about how law firms use or misuse social media.

LexBlog: 9 Things That Law Firm Managing Partners Get Wrong About Social Media

Court Upholds Conviction Despite Tweets by Two Different Jurors: U.S. v. Liu

Twitter

Court Upholds Conviction Despite Tweets by Two Different Jurors: U.S. v. Liu

A federal district court this week, in U.S. v. Liu et. al, upheld the conviction of three defendants two of whom were attorneys for immigration fraud despite the fact that two different jurors sent out trial-related tweets.  The first juror was dismissed prior to deliberations so that juror was less of an issue.  The second juror was not removed and thus serves as the basis for the defendant’s motion for a new trial.  In dismissing the defendant’s motion the trial judge determined that 

When the embrace of social media is ubiquitous, it cannot be surprising that examples of jurors using platforms like Facebook and Twitter “are legion.” United States v. Fumo. And because of the risks inherent in such ac- tivity, “vigilance on the part of trial judges is warranted.” Ganias, 755 F.3d at 132. On this record, however, Defendants’ claim must fail. Juror2 was an attentive juror who,while engaging in banter with fellow Twitter users about her experience, was nonetheless careful never to discuss the sub- stance of the case, as instructed by the Court. The record is devoid of any evidence that she was either dishonest or biased, or that Defendants were prejudiced by her tweets in any way

I think the trial judge got it right here.  In the Digital Age, it is naive to believe that jurors are going to forego social media throughout the trial; it has become too omnipresent.  The key is to see if the juror starts to discuss or get into the merits of the case. 

GOP and Twitter

Twitter

Apparently some believe that the GOP used Twitter to get around certain election laws.

CNN:How the GOP used Twitter to stretch election laws

Social Media and the Lawyer’s Evolving Duty of Technological Competence

Social Media and the Lawyer’s Evolving Duty of Technological Competence

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Benjamin Cooper

Abstract (to read the entire article go here): 

Can lawyers advise their clients what to post on social media and to “clean up” what they have previously posted? This short article, which will appear as the Correspondent’s Report from the United States in the journal Legal Ethics, argues that the lawyer’s duty of competence requires that they know how to answer these questions. The article also discuss two recent ethics opinions that help lawyers fulfill that duty.

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