Posts Tagged ‘Facebook’

CA Social Media Privacy Bill Fails

May 28, 2011

This article explains that SB 242 deadlocked in the California Senate with a vote of 16-16.  There was a big push by Google, Facebook and others in the emerging social networking industry lobby who were successful in killing the bill that would have made it harder for these companies to collect and retain all the personally identifiable information they use to build their successful ad businesses.

There was no mention in the article about the Federal efforts and the fact that they could preempt this California level effort from the get go.

More NLRB Facebook News

May 27, 2011

Yesterday I posted about how Jessica Braverman is doubtful about the NLRB’s aggressive stance regarding private employers ability to fire workers for what they say about the workplace on Facebook.  She is particularly doubtful about how this will play out in California.  So far, she has been right as the latest complaint the NLRB filed concerned a BMW dealership and their sales team in Chicago.

But Are Private Employers Treated Differently than those with Union Workers?

It doesn’t look like it as these employees were commissioned sales professionals.  The more interesting question to me is where the line is in terms of disparaging your employer versus discussing working terms and conditions.  For example, if employees go to Facebook and complain about personal aspects of their boss – that he is fat or ugly or never laughs, that probably won’t qualify as discussing working terms and conditions but the worker add that he never smiles or says anything nice, that could be creating a hostile working environment.  This seems like a slippery slope and what if the intent of the workers is clearly to complain but they include issues that impact the workplace – is that enough to trigger Section 7?

NLRB Facebook Complaints – Another Take

May 26, 2011

I noted the latest complaint filed by the NLRB against employers here. At yesterday’s program on social media policies for companies Jessica Braverman, an employment law attorney who specializes in these cases, suggested that these are cases that aren’t likely to impact non-union employers in California. First, because she thinks these cases mostly impact employers having to negotiate collective bargaining agreements and also because the NLRB in California is unlikely to be so aggressive in this area.

Something to watch for!

Drs. & Lawyers Need to Use Facebook Cautiously

May 23, 2011

This article outlines the rules doctors and other healthcare professionals have using social media which are similar to those for lawyers but are event stricter.  Take for example the doctor who posted information about a trauma patient and ended up getting fired from the hospital and disciplined by her medical board.  She hadn’t even posted the patient’s name but enough information to make the disclosure a violation under HIPAA, the (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act).

Other issues a doctor faces is displaying themselves drinking wine in a Facebook photo or engaging other behavior that might make a patient think twice about having this person operate on them.  I don’t think lawyers have to worry about that – clients aren’t as worried about the precision of their lawyers language in the courtroom as potential patients are with a surgeon with the scalpel!

Lawyers & Facebook – Oil & Water?

May 16, 2011

Kevin O’Keefe posts about how attorneys shouldn’t dismiss Facebook as a networking tool.  I like how he fits Facebook into the an attorney’s social marketing toolkit as something different from LinkedIn.  He sees Facebook as a way to nuture more well-rounded relationships online.  For LinkedIn, its all business but for those people you think its worth getting to know on a more personal basis, Facebook can be a good way to go.

Be Thy Self Online

I don’t enjoy Facebook.  I have a profile and I stream blog posts into it but I barely look at my “Wall” and even more rarely make a personal contribution or respond to someone else’s update.  This may change.  I may find a way to incorporate Facebook into my life that feels right but until then I’m not going bring a false persona to the site just for business development purposes.

Applying State Bar Rules to Facebook

May 4, 2011

Dean Dietrich who is the chair of the State Bar Professional Ethics Committee offers this analysis of how the Wisconsin Rules of Professional Responsibility apply to an attorney’s Facebook page.

He makes a couple important points:

  • Social media profiles are subject to the same set of rules as any other form of advertising
  • That Facebook can’t be used to solicit prospective clients without requiring a notice “advertising material.”

A couple other issues that he doesn’t mention in this context are:

  • Facebook may qualify as real-time communication if you are “friends” with someone and engage them on Facebook chat.  This is particularly an issue as being a “friend” on Facebook doesn’t require a relationship so this real-time chat could be with essentially a complete stranger.
  • Facebook raises breach of confidentiality issues with clients and prospective clients because of its transparency.  Attorney will want to closely examine privacy setting and avoid any discussion of client matters on this or any other social media website.

Remember:Your Facebook Page Isn’t Private

April 5, 2011

In the old days, teachers would come home with stories about their day to tell their husbands, family and friends.  Generally, they could feel safe – if they trusted these people – that what they said wouldn’t spread to the students and parents.  However, technology has changed this old paradigm both in the ability to snap photos on a cell phone and post them to Facebook.  While to many people, this activity may feel private in the same way as telling stories to friends and family, it’s not.

Case in point is this story of a Chicago teacher who took photos of a girl’s hair breaded with Jolly Rancher candies, posted them to Facebook and made snarky comments on her profile.  This teacher may have felt because her page is viewable only by her friends and family, that this was a private act. Wrong.

A mutual friend of the teacher and the student’s parent downloaded the photos and comments to a CD and shared it with the now furious student’s parent who is looking to sue. Lesson?  No matter who you are, think of yourself as a journalist when posting to Facebook not as the neighborhood gossip sharing stories over the the fence. This may take the fun out of Facebook but that’s better being the target of lawsuit.

A Jury Facebook Issue That Ends Up in SCOTUS?

March 31, 2011

The defense team in a Sacramento gang case want to review a juror’s Facebook postings after he had posted to friends, “”Can it get any more BORING than going over piles and piles of (cell phone) records.”

The Superior Court judge ordered the juror to release his postings.  It was appealed and upheld by the California Court of Appeals but now the California Supreme Court wants to weigh in on the matter, framing the issues as one between the juror’s right to privacy and the defendant’s fair trial rights.

I’ll be reading the California Supreme Court’s opinion and, if I’m right, the United States Supreme Court opinion after that.

Another Jury Misconduct Case on Facebook?

March 24, 2011

A judge will have to decide whether Facebook has served a platform for juror misconduct in a criminal trial.  When will the ABA or a judges group address this issue?

Do Small Firm Lawyers Get Social Media?

March 15, 2011

Here is an article talking about this report.  The article talks about how these lawyers don’t “get” social media and aren’t using it for marketing.  However, beneath the pie chart describing the various marketing methods they use, they have a section that lists various popular promotional tools and more than a third name online networking and social media as things they do.

Not Listed as Most Effective Marketing

They may not view these efforts as “marketing” because they aren’t paying for them but doesn’t mean that 1. they don’t know what they are or 2. that they don’t find them useful.


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