August 21, 2020

The Ethics of Social Media “Friendship”

Faegre Drinker on Products Blog

Social media information that reflects a person’s physical condition, activity level, and emotional state is a particularly valuable source of discovery in product liability and personal injury cases. See, e.g., Forman v. Henkin, 30 N.Y.3d 656 (2018). Lawyers must take great care to collect that information ethically.

In the first New Jersey decision to examine the issue, the New Jersey Supreme Court’s Disciplinary Review Board (DRB) concluded that an attorney should receive an admonition for directing a subordinate to “friend” an adverse, represented party on Facebook. In re John J. Robertelli, No. DRB 19-266, No. XIV-2010-0485E (Disciplinary Review Board Apr. 30, 2020). 

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