Thursday, May 7, 2009

Professionalism alert: The perils to lawyers (and their staff) who Tweet

The Legal Blog Watch contains an interesting editorial about the confidentiality perils of lawyers (or their paralegals, assistants, witnesses and/or experts) who Tweet about their cases.  The jumping off point is an article in today's Washington Post about how a 23 year old assistant film editor working in Massachusetts who used Twitter to answer a friend's inquiry about how he'd been spending his time.  "I work 45 hours a week as an assistant editor in Boston editing political campaign commercials. Right now: Bob McDonnell for VA Gov."  The problem - McDonnell hadn't yet made the announcement public. 

Here's the concern expressed in the LBW post about lawyers and their staff who Tweet:

It's easy to see how lawyers or their staff could commit a similar Twitter faux pas and tip off an opponent. For example, a lawyer's assistant might tweet "Tried to contact witness for Jones trial but couldn't find him," thus letting the other side know that a critical witness is missing. Or a lawyer in the midst of a trial might tweet "Awful day in court, ridiculous ruling" that the judge might run across. 

My own personal rule of thumb is that I don't tweet about ongoing matters, ever -- not even letting on that I was in court on a given day. I may be overly cautious, but I'd rather be safe than sorry -- sorry like [that 23 year old assistant film editor] may be now.

I am the scholarship dude.



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