Decof, Decof & Barry Law Firm Shares Insight & Expertise on Client Management, Social Media and Other Ethical Issues
Providence, RI – April 8, 2014 – The Rhode Island Continuing Legal Education (CLE) program is designed to educate attorneys on various aspects of legal practices. In its upcoming seminar entitled “Opening Your Case File,” seasoned lawyers will provide insight into various aspects of client management, such as how to open hybrid billable/contingency fee cases as well as begin a successful attorney-client relationship. Marshall M. Raucci, Esq. of Decof, Decof & Barry will serve as one of the speakers presenting topics such as taking a case or turning it down, fee agreements, choosing the right calendar, motions to withdraw, and managing clients’ use of social media. The CLE session will be held on Wednesday, April 16 from 3:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. at the Rhode Island Law Center.
In recent years, information shared by clients via social media has become a huge obstacle for attorneys to overcome. “Social media and the Internet have drastically altered the way in which information is shared,” said Mr. Raucci. “It is extremely important for clients to use discretion and scrutiny when posting personal and potentially incriminating information to sites, such as Facebook, and understand that the information could undermine their case. Clients also need to understand that social media is not just Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Virtually any blog or website that invites commentary or tracks a user’s activity can be accessed to provide information on a client. This includes sites like Yelp, Groupon, Pinterest, and patient care sites like CaringBridge, where families and friends track someone’s health and progress.”
According to an article in Bloomberg Law, a recent survey of over 1,200 federal, state, and local law enforcement professionals revealed that social media is widely used to assist in investigations, that few have received formal training on how to use social media for investigations, and that “74 percent of those not currently using it intend to start using it.”
Mr. Raucci will also share his insights on his firm’s social media client protocols. For example, new clients are asked to fill out a form, which is proprietary to the firm, and follow certain guidelines involving their social media behavior before an attorney-client relationship can proceed. Attorneys should also advise their clients to not only be careful, but to avoid deleting incriminating information, as this action can result in serious legal repercussions.
“It is critical for practicing attorneys to implement client social media policies from the inception of a case and educate their clients on best practices,” added Mr. Raucci. “Although attorneys are not expected to monitor a client’s social media platforms, they are responsible to act in their client’s best interest. As our firm continues to remain on the pulse of relevant trends, we believe this will be a valuable topic that our fellow attorneys will find very useful.”