Social Media and Internet

You know those e-mails out of the blue that start “We would like to engage you to handle our $1 million legal matter”? From our friends over at comes a description of what happened when Steven Chung, an L.A. tax attorney, actually took the bait and pursued one of those invitations.
Continue Reading Too good to be true: dissecting the workings of an internet scam

Since it debuted in the U.S. a couple weeks ago, Pokémon Go has become a nationwide phenomenon. If you’re like I was, you may need a primer in order to understand what the hoopla is about. The game was launched by Nintendo and The Pokémon Company for smartphones. It features the longtime videogame franchise that involves capturing and “training” phantasmagorical creatures called Pokémon. And yes, there’s an ethics issue for you to think about.
Continue Reading Pokémon Go — another reminder about the duty of competence for lawyers

Microsoft’s plans to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 billion was the talk of the tech world late last month. The combination of these behemoths is going to give Microsoft access to all LinkedIn’s data. Microsoft’s CEO has given some examples of the potential synergies that will result, like “getting a feed of potential experts from LinkedIn whenever Office notices you’re working on a relevant task.” But legal ethics issues loom, involving our duty of confidentiality under Rule 1.6.
Continue Reading Microsoft acquisition of LinkedIn could spell ethics issues for lawyers

A cyber-alert issued earlier this month by the non-profit Center for Internet Security warns of a dangerous wave of malicious e-mails that are specifically targeting lawyers. The fake e-mails are calculated to get your adrenaline pumping and to get you to open them and click on a link — because they’re personalized, they look urgent, and they’re disguised as coming from your own state’s disciplinary body or bar association.
Continue Reading Beware: malicious e-mail campaign is targeting lawyers with fake disciplinary, bar notifications

My spouse and I visited Chicago years ago, and confusedly started driving the wrong way down a one-way street. We were promptly pulled over by one of the Windy City’s finest. I gave him my best smile, and said, “Sorry, officer, we’re from out of town.” He grunted, “Don’t they have one-way streets where you come from?” But he didn’t give us a ticket. A recent disciplinary opinion out of Oklahoma, involving a tech-challenged bankruptcy lawyer, brings the story to mind.
Continue Reading “Don’t they have e-filing where you come from?” Tech-challenged lawyer dodges suspension

A Florida appeals court has affirmed $350,000 in punitive damages awarded to a lawyer who claimed that a former client defamed her in on-line reviews. Some courts have turned back claims based on internet reviews. But in Blake v. Ann-Marie Giustibelli, P.A., the court said there was no free-speech shield for the former client’s false statements on various internet review sites.

Continue Reading Client defames lawyer on review site — court upholds $350,000 in punitive damages

Dislike, croppedLawyer-rating site Avvo is violating a state statute barring unauthorized use of “an individual’s identity for commercial purposes,” an Illinois lawyer has charged in a putative class-action complaint filed last week in the chancery division of Cook County Circuit Court.

Fee- based marketing plan

The gist of the complaint is that without any authorization or

2016 Start, Two Thousand Sixteen.What was the most important development in the legal ethics arena over the past five years?  I was honored to be asked by LexBlog, the folks who provide our blog platform, to share my views on this topic on the LXBN network, which has 8,000+ blog authors.  But of course, the invitation also made

Social media.5Here are three very recent reminders about what not to do online.  These separate stories involve an Indiana lawyer and two judges:  one state and one federal.  Apparently human nature makes on-line misconduct irresistible to some people, even at the cost of their licenses to practice, and the risk of other professional embarrassment.

Don’t Steele