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PA Issues New Social Media Guidance for Attorneys

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PA

Ethical Obligations for Attorneys Using Social Media

For attorneys looking for more guidance about how to use social media properly, Pennsylvania here is to help.  The state has recently issued a lengthy ethics opinion discussing the proper use of social media by attorneys.  Among other things, this opinion states that:

• Attorneys may advise clients about the content of their social networking websites, including the removal or addition of information.

• Attorneys may connect with clients and former clients.

• Attorneys may not contact a represented person through social networking websites.

• Although attorneys may contact an unrepresented person through social networking websites, they may not use a pretextual basis for viewing otherwise private information on social networking websites.

• Attorneys may use information on social networking websites in a dispute.

• Attorneys may accept client reviews but must monitor those reviews for accuracy.

• Attorneys may generally comment or respond to reviews or endorsements, and may solicit such endorsements.

• Attorneys may generally endorse other attorneys on social networking websites.

• Attorneys may review a juror’s Internet presence.

• Attorneys may connect with judges on social networking websites provided the purpose is not to influence the judge in carrying out his or her official duties.

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