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Ethical Limitations On Lawyer-To-Lawyer Online Consultations Regarding Pending Cases, Robert Derner Jan 2020

Ethical Limitations On Lawyer-To-Lawyer Online Consultations Regarding Pending Cases, Robert Derner

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This comment explains how and when lawyer-to-lawyer consultations are permitted in the online world. In all lawyer-to-lawyer consultations, but especially with the online variety, a lawyer must avoid violating the principle of confidentiality when consulting other lawyers about client matters. While in-person lawyer-to-lawyer consultations have been commonplace in the legal profession for decades, the rise of listservs and social media networks has caused many lawyers to seek advice from colleagues on the Internet.

In considering online lawyer-to-lawyer consultations, there are two major issues. Firstly, a lawyer must determine whether the jurisdiction in which he or she practices permits online lawyer-to-lawyer …


A Status Update For Texas Voir Dire: Advocating For Pre-Trial Internet Investigation Of Prospective Jurors, Luke A. Harle Jun 2018

A Status Update For Texas Voir Dire: Advocating For Pre-Trial Internet Investigation Of Prospective Jurors, Luke A. Harle

St. Mary's Law Journal

The Internet provides trial attorneys an additional tool to investigate the backgrounds of prospective jurors during voir dire. Online searches of a person’s name and social media accounts can reveal information that could be used as grounds for a challenge for cause or to facilitate intelligent use of peremptory strikes. Texas lawmakers have not yet provided any official guidance as to whether attorneys can investigate prospective jurors online or how they might do so, should it be allowed. Texas’s current voir dire structure, judicial opinions, and ethics opinions, together, support the notion that Texas trial attorneys should be given opportunities …


Electronic Social Media: Friend Or Foe For Judges, M. Sue Kurita Oct 2017

Electronic Social Media: Friend Or Foe For Judges, M. Sue Kurita

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

The use of electronic social communication has grown at a phenomenal rate. Facebook, the most popular social networking website, has over 1,968,000,000 users—a number that has exponentially grown since its inception in 2004. The number of judges accessing and using electronic social media (ESM) has also increased. However, unlike the general population, judges must consider constitutional, ethical, technical, and evidentiary implications when they use and access ESM. The First Amendment forbids “abridging the freedom of speech” and protects the expression of personal ideas, positions, and views. However, the American Bar Association’s Model Code of Judicial Conduct and the Texas Code …


The Impact Of Technological Developments On The Rules Of Attorney Ethics Regarding Attorney–Client Privilege, Confidentiality, And Social Media, Pamela A. Bresnahan, Lucian T. Pera Dec 2016

The Impact Of Technological Developments On The Rules Of Attorney Ethics Regarding Attorney–Client Privilege, Confidentiality, And Social Media, Pamela A. Bresnahan, Lucian T. Pera

St. Mary's Journal on Legal Malpractice & Ethics

This article focuses on the development of the law of ethics and technology. Emphasis is placed on how technological developments have affected the rules and means by which lawyers practice law and certain ethical pitfalls that have developed hand-in-hand with technological advancements. Topics examined include: (1) the ways by which electronic communication has increased the potential for the attorney–client privilege to be waived and the resulting impact on the present-day practice of law; (2) the effect of social media on lawyers’ ethical obligations, including counseling clients regarding the client’s use of social media and the lawyer’s own use of social …