Virtue and the Virtual: Introduction To Legal Ethics And Social Media |

Virtue and the Virtual: Introduction To Legal Ethics And Social Media


Course Info

CPD Points 1
Competency Ethics and Professional Responsibility

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Author Profile

Virtue and the Virtual: Introduction To Legal Ethics And Social Media

Christopher Shanahan SC was admitted to the WA bar in 1984 and the High Court of Australia in 1990.  He has practiced as a barrister at Francis Burt Chambers since 1994.

Course Summary

Lawyers and law firms are increasingly engaging in social media, bringing both opportunities and new and challenging ethical issues. This course examines these issues and provides practical guidance on the topic.

Course Details

Lawyers and law firms are engaging with social media increasingly both for personal and business purposes.  While there are clear benefits for the profession in engaging with social media, it also exposes lawyers to new and challenging ethical issues.

The course also provides a brief introduction to different types of social networking platforms and discusses the characteristics of social media which increase the likelihood of errors or ethical transgressions being made by lawyers.

The course then examines the specific ethical issues which arise from lawyers increased engagement with social media, and provides practical guidance on how lawyers can avoid ethical transgressions in this context.  The course illustrates this through a series of real life case studies which explore a range of ethical issues lawyers may face when engaging with social media, including:

  • tweeting or blogging about cases and clients, and the potential for breaches of confidentiality;
  • promoting law practices through online activities, and the potential ethical consequences;
  • using social networking sites to access information about witnesses or other parties to proceedings; and
  • Issues arising from judges and lawyers being “friends” on a social networking site.

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