Opinion No. 357 of the District of Columbia Bar’s Legal Ethics Committee
Topic: Former Client Records Maintained in Electronic Form
Conclusion of the Committee:
“Social media is a constantly changing area of technology. Social media can be an effective tool for providing information to the public, for networking and for communications. However, using such tools requires that the lawyer maintain and update his or her social media pages or profiles in order to ensure that information is accurate and adequately protected.
Accordingly, this Committee concludes that a lawyer who chooses to maintain a presence on social media, for personal or professional reasons, must take affirmative steps to remain competent regarding the technology being used and to ensure compliance with the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct.
The world of social media is a nascent area that continues to change as new technology is introduced into the marketplace. Best practices and ethical guidelines will, as a result, continue to evolve to keep pace with such developments.”
DC Rules of Professional Conduct
- 1.4(a) – Communication
- 1.6(a)(1) and (f) – Confidentiality of Information
- 1.15(b) – Safekeeping Property
- 1.16(d) – Declining or Terminating Representation
Mentioned Ethics Opinions:
- D.C. Legal Ethics Op. 283 (1998);
- Missouri Ethics Opinion 127 (May 19, 2009);
- Maine Ethics Opinion 183 (Jan. 2004);
- New Jersey Ethics Opinion (April 24, 2006);.
- Arizona Ethics Opinion 07-02 (June 2007);
- Wisconsin Legal Ethics Opinion E-00-03 (2003).
The full text of the opinion can be found at http://www.dcbar.org…