The 140 characters or less answer to the question, “What are you doing now? has the potential to create a litigation minefield for attorneys, their employers and other businesses states Marthat Neil in the May 15, 2009 ABA Bar Journal.
Accordingly , lawyers and professional employees must be careful not to convey proprietary information or reveal privileged or private information which could potentially expose the company to a lawsuit.
Twitter “tweets” are so new that the best practices for addressing the social networking phenomenon are still being developed. Therefore, attorneys should be wary of providing confidential information that could be considered solicitations for clients. Furthermore, on the corporate side employers should establish standards for business related Tweets.
Yes, lawyers of all makes are beginning to engage in this fast g rowing social network. Jim Calloway, a Oklahoma legal technology guru , explains how Twitter is not just a passing fad and that lawyers need to be aware of the legal implications of Twitter or any social media. This social media will have an impact on a lawyer’s practice because of a “business client who wants to discuss a policy on employees using social media at work or a family law client who believes that there is valuable evidence lurking in Twitter posts”, expounds Calloway. Therefore, remember “tweets” can become valuable evidence.
Some cautionary advice that Calloway (@jimcalloway) provides is :
1. Be careful about overuse of Twitter. You don’t want your followers and clients to believe you have nothing else to do.
2. If you ‘re using Twitter for practice development, watch how often you stray from your primary topic. Keep some professional distance in the attorney-client relationship.
3. Don’t expect that your tweets are to be kept private.
Now I don’t “tweet”. However, I believe that those who engage in this practice in their business should proceed with caution. The chatter about Twitter in the legal profession is growing.