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Social Media Client Management: A Hot Topic at CLE for Attorneys

Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn

Marshall M. Raucci, Esq. ofDecof, Barry, Mega & Quinn Recently Presented At Rhode Island Continuing Legal Education Program

Providence, RI – April 22, 2014 – Designed to educate attorneys, Rhode Island’s Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program covers various topics relevant to today’s legal landscape. At the most recent CLE on April 16th, entitled “Opening Your Case File,” Marshall M. Raucci, Esq. of Decof, Barry, Mega & Quinn, P.C. served as one of the speakers, sharing insight and expertise with an audience of 35 attorneys. While a range of topics was discussed, client management and education as it relates to social media comprised a significant portion of the discussion. A common challenge for lawyers involves information that clients share on the Internet. Activity on social media platforms, in particular, has had serious implications on the outcomes of several court cases in recent years.

“At the CLE, the discussion on this topic was lively, with many attorneys sharing their own war stories of the pitfalls and problems surrounding a client’s use of social media,” said Mr. Raucci. “A client can easily undermine his or her case through content posted on social media, and the nature of certain photos and status updates can jeopardize a potential settlement or verdict. All too often, clients carelessly share incriminating information on websites, such as Facebook and Twitter, and in some circumstances, opposing lawyers can use this information as evidence.”

Because few laws governing social media exist, many attorneys are still learning how to effectively navigate their client’s social media activity. Mr. Raucci offered insight on how to establish guidelines from the inception of a case, and provided examples of cases directly impacted by a client’s social media behavior. Although lawyers are not obligated to monitor a client’s social media use, it is critical for them to look out for their client’s best interest.

“It is imperative for attorneys to prepare and educate their clients on proper social media practices,” said Mr. Raucci. “Be sure to address any issues early with your client and provide specific direction on what they should and should not do. Law firms must be steadfast in creating policies to prevent damaging evidence from infiltrating a case because it could have a profound effect on the outcome.”

Other topics that Mr. Raucci discussed at the CLE included taking or turning down a case and hybrid fee agreements.