Do Lawyers Have a Right to Post Whatever They Want on Social Media?

Do Lawyers Have a Right to Post Whatever They Want on Social Media?

You enjoy reading other people’s blogs and you decide to start one. You want to share your bird watching activities; and your love of James Bond movies.  You post pretty much every day. You have a few cases where you believe your clients have really messed up. And, you routinely appear before a judge that you don’t think is very smart. In your most recent blog posts, sandwiched in between your discussion about whether Daniel Craig is better than Sean Connery, you also discuss your cases and your unfavorable opinion of the judge.  Is there an ethical concern here?

A. NoI have a First Amendment Right just like everyone else to write or say whatever I want.

B. Yes, there are some ethical limitations as to what lawyers can or cannot post on social media.

 


slide1

The correct answer is B. This question is a summary of the facts in an Illinois disciplinary case, In re Peshek, Case No. 2009PR0089. The attorney was a Public Defender and she frequently blogged about her hobbies. Then she started writing negative things about her clients and the judge. In doing so, she revealed enough information for her supervisor and her colleagues to know which clients and which judge she was referring to, breaching her duty of confidentiality under Rule 1.6. She was suspended for 60 days.

Allison Wood