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Bar Association Issues Ethics Opinion On Facebook Use

September 19, 2009

The Philadelphia Bar Association Professional Guidance Committee issued an ethics advisory opinion in March on the use of Facebook, opining that a lawyer can’t use a third party to send a friend request to an adverse witness in search of impeaching evidence on the witness’ private Facebook page.  Sounds like a big “duh” to me, but it’s interesting to see a bar association tiptoe into the brave new social media world.

More interesting to me is how I found this opinion.  Did you notice that it was posted on JD Supra by attorney David Barrett?  David is an attorney and social media consultant.  One of his revenue models (from what I can tell online) is attorney referrals.  Therefore his expertise that he struts online is his ability to network on the web and provide quality referrals from all the people he “meets” online.

David took a piece of news (the opinion), uploaded it to JD Supra, a content syndication site, added one sentence of commentary and announced his “article” on Facebook.  And what happened after that?  People like me are sharing the opinion with David’s name and face on it.

This is a classic example of how to showcase your expertise using social media and the exponential ways your name can get redistributed.  That was probably five minutes of effort for David (assuming his JD Supra account is set up and ready to use), but the viral effects of getting his name out there are “priceless.”  You can do the same thing with your expertise.

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