We pride ourselves on our ability to effectively communicate with coworkers, clients and the community at large via an array of technological tools. Professionally, we may be members of LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter or a host of other social media networks. We post blogs to our firm websites and carry our iPhones or BlackBerries with us everywhere. Of course, many of us have personal and/or business Facebook pages as well. These tools provide us the opportunity to remain informed, current and informative, to respond nimbly, and to communicate efficiently with clients and colleagues.
As we read almost daily about how posting can lead to a defamation or slander claim or lawsuit, it is important to keep in mind our fiduciary, ethical and contractual obligations before posting anything. All of these readily accessible connections require a greater awareness of professional and personal accountability and responsibility. As employees, employers and representatives of a law firm or business, it is critical that we maintain our professionalism at all times and adhere to our obligations. No assumptions can or should ever be made that communications made using social networking are private.
Social responsibility while using social media is a burgeoning field of the law and very interesting to observe and read about. As additional tools are developed and integrated, it is useful to keep in mind our ethical, contractual and fiduciary responsibilities in the context of communicating through this new and rapidly evolving media.