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(20-02-21) The Ethics of Social Media Research

Total Credits: 1.2 MCLE, 1.2 Ethics, 0.0 Elimination of Bias

Practice Area:
Ethics |  Practice Management / Technology


FEBRUARY 21, 2020 | 12:00 - 1:04PM CT

MoBarCLE, in partnership with, bring you this quality program.


This program does not qualify for Kansas Credit.

(This is a “simulive” rebroadcast of a previously recorded presentation. The presenters will be available during the rebroadcast to answer questions.)

Learn how to avoid potential ethical traps when you research social media profiles for investigative/background purposes and to use as evidence. The seminar is partially based on the speakers' fifty-five page Social Media chapter from their book, "The Cybersleuth's Guide to the Internet."

This program specifically addresses how MPRC Rules apply to social media research: Rule 1.1 (and the new comment 8), as well as MPRC Rules 3.3, 3.4(a), 3.5, 4.1, 4.1(a), 4.2, 5.3(b)(1), 8.4(c).

This program also reviews pertinent ethics opinions in more than two dozen jurisdictions, discusses relevant caselaw, and reviews detailed guidelines for social media research issued by the New York State Bar’s Commercial and Federal Litigation Section.

The speakers will review:

  • Social media research ethical guidelines
  • State bar, local bar, and ABA Ethics Opinions
  • Cases decided in various states
  • How they all tie into the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct

The program will also explore:

  • Who's your friend? Could "friending" violate the deception or ex parte communication ethical rules?
  • Whether it is ethical to research the social media profiles of parties and witnesses during discovery or trial?
  • Whether it is ethical to research the social media profiles of potential jurors before trial or seated jurors before and during trial?
  • If advising clients to delete, deactivate, or adjust privacy settings on their social networking accounts lead to an ethical violation or spoliation charge? 
  • Configuring security/privacy settings in your own profile to avoid ethical breaches

Originally recorded January 30, 2018

Speakers: Carole Levitt & Mark Rosch


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