Archive for February, 2011

White & Lee – Clients, Clients, Clients

February 28, 2011

When DSD Law Site Solutions works with a client, we spend considerable time upfront understanding what’s important to them and what their competitors are doing well and not so well.  Together with the client, we brainstorm visually how the firm wants to position itself in the legal marketplace.

With White & Lee, it was clear from the start that this was a firm excited to work with companies that had bold ideas and big needs for creative approaches to get their products and services to market. Based on this understanding and performing a detailed competitive analysis, we provided White & Lee with a bold home page that is all about their clients and their enthusiasm to be working with them.

Social Media Policies – Training & Insurance

February 26, 2011

Inc magazine has published this article, How to Avoid a Social Media Lawsuit which does a good high level job of pointing out things to watch out for. The first thing is to write a social media employee policy and it references an earlier article they published which is useful.

But nowhere in the article do they talk about examining your insurance policies or checking with your insurance  broker about whether your current insurance covers the company for any or part of any social media risks.  And if you developing a social media policy, why not check with your insurance broker to see if there are ways to write or implement your policy that can provide you coverage under your existing insurance. Here is a link to a post where I addressed the insurance issue.

Training

It seems to me, that having a policy is only the first step.  Next, you have to make sure that your employees understand the policy – not just the written word – but also the underlying social media platforms and uses to insure they are complying.

CA Supremes to Review Juror Facebook Flap

February 25, 2011

The California Supreme Court will review the briefs in the Sacramento based gang beating case where the defense team wanted to review a jurors Facebook postings and his friends response for purposes of detecting bias or influence related the guilty verdict.

Courts may get guidance on two issues:

  • How to handle juror social networking activities
  • How much privacy pertains to non-public Facebook information

Stay tuned…

Hand Over Social Media Passwords Jobseekers!

February 24, 2011

This news from the Maryland Attorney General could end up in litigation.  Mr. Gansler says that a propsective Maryland state employee can be required to turn over his or her social networking log-on information as a condition of employment.

The reason for such an invasive requirement is for prospective prison guards and to insure that they aren’t involved in gang activity. However, I have to wonder if there aren’t less invasive ways to get the same information.  Also, will such social networking scrutiny lead to finding out this information anyway?  Do people involved in gang activity post the fact on Facebook?

Dark Side of Social Media for Consumer Products

February 23, 2011

We all know social networking’s power for good in messaging and connecting to consumers but what about the other side?  This article points out the example of a class action organized against Proctor & Gamble on Facebook.

Training!

The article goes on to recommend social media training to employees as a good way for them to understand the power and the danger these new tools pose.  I’ve been advocating training as a part of any social networking compliance effort so I’m glad to see the literature catching on to the importance of this.

WSJ charts more Voir Dire via Social Media

February 22, 2011

Just the other day, I posted about a Texas District Attorney handing out iPads to prosecutors to check out potential jurors.  Now comes this Wall Street Journal article which suggest these types of practices are fairly common.

The same D.A. is thinking about offering up free Wi-Fi for jurors who allow his prosecutors to temporarily “friend” them so they can see more of their Facebook profile.  What if a potential juror says, no?  Will they face any consequences for refusing prosecutors, Facebook access?

New Lawyer Trade Association

February 21, 2011

The Video Game Bar Association is now open for business.  This is for attorneys who have two years experience working for video game law. The board is comprised of a couple in-house counsel, attorneys at big firms handling this work as well as a solo.

This Nolo blog post suggests that this organization isn’t for attorneys looking to get started in the field but I wouldn’t rule that out. First, the association should reach out to law schools and Barrister groups to encourage the next generation to get involved. This is probably a godsend to young attorneys with a video game obsession as a way to combine something they love with the practice of law. And if they start a newsletter, blog or journal, they will need and want content which maybe an opportunity for attorneys who want exposure to join in.

Voir Dire by iPad

February 19, 2011

More evidence of how the social media revolution is impacting the court system.  A District Attorney in Texas equips his prosecutors with iPads so they can check out potential jurors’ Facebook page.

He claims that the department discards the information collected once the selection process is over.  I have a feeling he will need to do more than provide such weak assurances.

Insurance for Social Media Usage

February 18, 2011

This article published by Cozen O’Connor on social media insurance does a good job of explaining the thinking an organization should do about its insurance when adopting social media as part of its business.

The first thing is to be clear about the nature of your social media activity and the next is to look at your existing coverage and reach out to your insurance broker or agent to determine if you would be covered under the policies should social media activity result in a business loss.

Examples would be useful

Employment terminations and defamation come to mind as the most common scenarios for possible losses that would trigger insurance coverage but what about the corporate officer who creates a false name and bashes the competitors.  Is this a scenario that would trigger D&O coverage?  What if the company’s use of social media is poorly thought out and creates holes in their firewall, allowing their e-commerce website to go down?  I’d like to see an article that outlines the variety of possible scenarios and if and how a company could expect to be covered for such losses.

LinkedIn Announces New Account Settings

February 16, 2011

LinkedIn announced on its blog improvements to its account settings and I’m disappointed.  On February 28th, I will be presenting on LinkedIn for lawyers and I was hoping to point to account setting changes that would make LinkedIn more useful to attorneys.

  • Custom connection settings: lawyers would benefit from being able to accept connections from clients but not have those viewable by their network. Right now it all or nothing – either connections can see all your connections or see none of them.  You may want your connections to see your referral sources but not your clients but right now, that’s not possible.
  • Recommendations: many states require California attorneys who receive testimonials from clients to include language that makes it clear that a testimonial is not predictive of how a prospective client would fare with this attorney.  A setting allowing attorneys to insert this disclaimer language into a testimonial, would make it easier for attorneys to promote recommendations.
  • Specialties: for attorneys in most states this word means that they have received certification in a specific practice area from their state bar.  Many states have rules that prohibit attorneys from claiming a “specialty” if they haven’t received certification.  It would be great if there was a setting to change that label or to provide options – “focus areas” perhaps?

LinkedIn is the most popular social networking website for attorneys. If LinkedIn want to preserve its ranking, it should think about tweaks to its interface to help out the legal profession.


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