With topics carefully crafted and taught by a committee of knowledgeable, experienced attorneys, the IICLE® 6th Annual Local Government Law Institute continues to be your resource for hands-on, practical help with local government law issues.
Communication about legal issues impacts lawyers and their local government clients every day. Ethical rules govern many attorney communications, while practical and statutory rules govern how clients communicate with their attorneys, their employees, and with their constituents. Explore several facets of communicating on legal issues and the legal and ethical considerations that must govern these communications, including social media, ex parte communications, lawyer advocacy in the context of zoning hearings, Open Meetings Act restraints, and local government litigation.
Learn how to avoid potential ethical traps in researching social media profiles to uncover investigative/background information about parties, witnesses, experts, jurors, etc., and, in some cases, to use this information as evidence. This program reviews pertinent ethics opinions issued by the ABA and bar associations in many jurisdictions; discusses relevant caselaw; reviews detailed guidelines for social media research issued by the New York State Bar’s Commercial and Federal Litigation Section; and ties them into the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct. The program will also explore: Who's your "friend?" Could "friending" violate the deception or ex parte communication ethical rules? Is it ethical to research the social media profiles of parties and witnesses during discovery or trial? Is it ethical to research the social media profiles of potential jurors before trial or seated jurors during trial? Could advising clients to delete, deactivate, or adjust privacy settings on their social networking accounts lead to an ethical violation or spoliation charge against you? How to configure security/privacy settings in your own profile to avoid ethical breaches. The seminar is partially based on the speakers' 55-page Social Media chapter from their book, "The Cybersleuth's Guide to the Internet."