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Social Media Ethics in the Age of Documented Mischief 2022 - 3 CLE / 3 E - Featuring Cynthia Sharp

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Social Media Ethics in the Age of Documented Mischief

3 CLE / 3 E - A National Speaker Seminar

The phenomenon of social media has changed the landscape of the modern law firm. For many, the challenge of the learning curve prevents them from taking advantage of its potential benefits. Another perceived obstacle is that attorneys are rightfully concerned about compliance with the code of professional conduct. This timely session is designed to demystify these concepts and analyze ethics developments throughout the United States.


Opening remarks

- Effective use of social media in the legal setting and overview of ethical implications

- Indiana Rule 1.1 - Duty of competence

- Analysis of Comment 8 - Maintaining Competence

Social media in the litigation arena - critical ethical issues

- Social media and jurors

- Vetting jurors

- Monitoring jurors’ social media use - the BIG pitfall to avoid

- Social media research of jurors during trial

- Reporting juror misconduct

- Case law discussion

- Indiana Rule 4.2 - Communication with person represented by counsel

- “Friending” (or asking a third party to friend) an adverse, represented party

- Social media as an investigative tool

- Competitive intelligence

- The ethics of “false friending”

- Discussion of NY Ethics Opinion 745 - Advising a client regarding posts on social media sites.

- Social media posts in the bankruptcy context

- Indiana rule 3.4 - Fairness to opposing party & counsel

- Spoliation of evidence

Additional ethical issues and examples of violations

- Indiana rule 8.4 - Misconduct

- Stories of lawyer subterfuge and other substandard online behavior

- Why anonymous trolling is wrong

- Beware: Private & public persona may not remain separate!

Essential elements of a law firm social media policy

- Review of MRPC 5.1 and 5.3 & relevant case law

- Guidelines for employee usage

- Duty of Confidentiality - MRPC 1.6

Ethical issues to consider in the legal marketing realm

- Five steps to creating an ethical client development plan

- In depth review of Indiana Rules 7.1 - 7.5

- Website creation - lurking ethical issues

- How to avoid the problem of unintended representation

- Blogging as attorney advertising

- Applicability of MRPC 5.3 when using third-party vendors

- National survey of relevant case law

- Positional conflicts in attorney advertising

Improve and protect your online reputation

- Responding to negative reviews

- Ethics of obtaining positive reviews

Judicial Ethics and Social Media

- ABA Formal Opinion 462 - Judge’s Use of Electronic Social Networking Media

- Nationwide survey of Ethics Advisory Opinions

- Review of judicial discipline decisions

- Private judicial decisions

- Matters involving judicial disqualification

Prepare for the Digital Hereafter

- Discussion of IC 32-39-1 & 2 - Revised Uniform Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act

- Clauses that MUST be included in Indiana wills and powers of attorney

- Policies of Social Media platforms regarding deceased & disabled users

- Making a plan to move forward

- Answering your questions



Cynthia Sharp, Esq. (J.D., LL.M. (taxation)) dedicated close to thirty years building a successful law practice - serving thousands of clients. At the pinnacle of her career, she sold her interest in the practice and established The Sharper Lawyer, an educational and business coaching entity. As Director of Attorney Development, Cindy has established a national presence as an author and speaker on topics of ethics in the context of practice management, social media and marketing - lecturing extensively to law firms, bar associations and other legal organizations. She is author of The Lawyers’ Guide to Attaining Financial Security published by the ABA Solo, Small Firm & General Practice Division. Cynthia’s social media column appears on a regular basis in the GPSolo eReport.

ICLEF • Indiana Continuing Legal Education Forum, Indianapolis, IN • Premier Indiana CLE


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