Florida May Allow Attorneys to Advise Clients to Clean-Up Social Media Accounts
The Florida bar, which has historically taken a very hard-line stance on attorney social media use, appears to be softening up a bit. In its latest advisory ethics opinion (14-1) the Florida Professional Ethics Committee has determined that
a lawyer may advise the client pre-litigation to remove information from a social media page, regardless of its relevance to a reasonably foreseeable proceeding.
The Committee did note, however, that such advise may be given so long
as the removal does not violate any substantive law regarding preservation and/or spoliation of evidence.
This opinion is in keeping with other jurisdictions that have also found that lawyers in certain circumstances may advise clients to remove information from social media.
Finally, the opinion also noted that attorneys must ensure
an appropriate record of the social media information or data [is]… preserved if the information or data is known by the lawyer or reasonably should be known by the lawyer to be relevant to the reasonably foreseeable proceeding.