Schnader attorney Rachel E. Branson was a Social Media and the Practice of Law panelist at the Philadelphia Bar Association’s Annual Bench-Bar Conference in Atlantic City on October 5.
The panel discussed the dos and don'ts of social media as it relates to litigation, communicating with judges, "friending" clients and witnesses, protecting intellectual property, discovery, jury vetting and instructions, marketing and public relations.
Ms. Branson warned that for some young attorneys creating vanity personal e-mail addresses (or Twitter accounts) that noted their profession - ie, JohnSmithESQ@ or JaneSmithJD@ - could produce some potential issues when using such an address to comment publicly on news articles. “Are they offering legal advice by announcing themselves as attorneys?”
She reminded attorneys to be mindful of the rules of professional engagement that these extend to social media as well. “Don’t succumb to the informality of social media. Be thoughtful.” And finally, she chastened attorneys to be well informed of their firm’s social media policy.
Ms. Branson was joined by moderator Eric H. Weitz and fellow panelists Gina F. Rubel and John Encarnacion.
Ms. Branson is an associate in the Firm’s Corporate Finance and Intellectual Property Groups and focuses her practice on emerging companies, software licensing issues, and the formation and governance of nonprofit organizations and corporate entities.