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Fidelity Diluted: Client Confidentiality Gives Way To The First Amendment & Social Media In Virginia State Bar, Ex Rel. Third District Committee V. Horace Frazier Hunter, Jan Jacobowitz, Kelly Jesson Dec 2012

Fidelity Diluted: Client Confidentiality Gives Way To The First Amendment & Social Media In Virginia State Bar, Ex Rel. Third District Committee V. Horace Frazier Hunter, Jan Jacobowitz, Kelly Jesson

Jan L Jacobowitz

Fidelity and confidentiality are hallmarks of the attorney-client relationship. However, as social media use permeates the legal profession, new challenges have arisen to the traditional interpretation of client confidentiality. The Virginia Supreme Court’s recent holding, which concludes that to deny attorney Horace Hunter the ability to blog about his clients’ cases without client consent, after the case concludes and based upon what is found in the public record, is to deny Hunter his First Amendment right of free speech has spurned controversy. The Hunter opinion arguably undermines the long standing legal ethics rule of confidentiality and strikes at the ...