Using Social Media to Research Prospective Jurors

Given the decreasing time attorneys have for conducting voir dire, it can be very useful to investigate jurors with publicly available background information. Simply running Google searches can reveal an enormous amount of information about a potential juror in a short amount of time. This public information often will come from social media sources. As Ben Hancock reported in his article for Law.com, “social media profiles can present a trove of data points for jury selection…[but] researching jurors online while keeping on the right side of the judge and local ethics rules is hardly a straightforward exercise.”

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Protect Clients from Themselves

social_138282233A legal matter may be the most important thing happening in your client’s life, but you have to warn your client to avoid conversations about it on social media. Whatever they say online—no matter how innocently intended—can be found and used to undermine their position. Here are three things to tell clients about online communications. Continue reading

Service of Process via Twitter?

thinkstockphotos-500091191For a judgment to be entitled to full faith and credit, the defendant must be served in a way that’s reasonably calculated to give actual notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard. Milliken v Meyer (1940) 311 US 457, 463. But how do you serve a defendant you can’t find? Personal service and service by mail are obviously off the table. You’re left with service by publication. Newspapers were the standard for this method, but Twitter and other social media platforms may be the modern version of the local paper. Continue reading

Snapchat as Evidence

snapchat-picSeveral years ago we told you to consider Facebook postings as evidence in legal cases. This is still true, but now there are many more social media platforms to consider. Snapchat in particular has become a fertile source of evidence not to be overlooked. Continue reading

Divorce Papers Served by Facebook: Cold or Practical?

ThinkstockPhotos-465393314Calling social media “the next frontier in the developing law of the service of process over the internet,” a New York judge has allowed service of divorce papers via Facebook private messaging. This is either a cold invasion of one’s social media space or a practical solution to a service problem. Either way, it’s something few recipients will “Like.” Continue reading

Should You Check a Job Applicant’s Social Media Posts?

178161035Employers are wondering whether browsing public social media sites to learn more about a job applicant is worth the potential risks. A CareerBuilder survey found that 39% of employers use social networking sites to research job candidates, but do the other 61% have good reasons to stay away?  Continue reading

Using Social Media? Beware of Ethical Pitfalls (Part 2)

87524559The following is a guest blog post by Jonathan Rubens, a principal at Javid Rubens LLP in San Francisco, which represents clients in business transactions and advises them on data security, privacy, trademark and copyright issues. 

With the increasing use of social media by attorneys comes ethical risk. In Part 1 of the blog post, we discussed the risks involved with posting about ongoing matters and blogging without a disclaimer. Here are more tips to help you safely navigate the social media minefield. Continue reading

Using Social Media? Beware of Ethical Pitfalls (Part 1)

87524559

The following is a guest blog post by Jonathan Rubens, a principal at Javid Rubens LLP in San Francisco, which represents clients in business transactions and advises them on data security, privacy, trademark and copyright issues.

Attorneys are using social media websites more and more. We’re visiting a variety of sites to promote our practices, communicate with our peers, and stay in touch with our clients. But social media presents many ethical pitfalls to avoid. Here are some tips to help you safely navigate the social media minefield. Continue reading

You Don’t Own Me—Is it Employer or Employee Social Media Content?

187962221The following is a guest blog post by Olga Savage of Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Olga primarily represents employers in labor and employment law matters.

Many employers have implemented employment contracts and policies that specifically provide that the employer owns all developments, technological or otherwise, by employees during their employment. But what happens when employees have pre-employment social media accounts that they use to develop business during their employment? And what happens when an employee uses his or her pre-existing social media account to market, advertise, and/or develop business for his or her employer? Continue reading

Lessons on Social Media in the Workplace

485226707The following is a guest blog post by Tyler M. Paetkau, a partner with Hartnett, Smith & Paetkau in Redwood City. Tyler represents employers in all aspects of labor and employment law. He’s a frequent author and speaker on labor and employment law issues, and the former Chair of the Executive Committee of the Labor and Employment Law Section of the State Bar of California.

The workplace has certainly been affected by the explosion of social media. Courts and administrative agencies are grappling with complex issues involving employee personal privacy, harassment, defamation, trade secret misappropriation, and union-organizing efforts in the age of social media. Although the rules are far from clear, there is some guidance for employers out there. Continue reading