In a major new ethics opinion, the American Bar Association’s Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility indicated that lawyers must take reasonable efforts to ensure that communications with clients are secure and not subject to inadvertent or unauthorized security breaches. Notably, and for the first time, the opinion says that, in some circumstances, lawyers would.. read more →

Arnett Blake and his girlfriend, Cindy Edwards, attended a party at a community center. Defendant, Blake’s ex-girlfriend, also attended the party. While in the bathroom, Edwards encountered defendant “making rude comments about her.” While Edwards was still in the bathroom, defendant exited the bathroom, approached Blake, and said “I should F— your girlfriend up.” Later.. read more →

Jay Jason Chatarpau, Esq., a New Jersey employment discrimination attorney, represented Rameena Khan in a lawsuit claiming that her employer, Rite Aid stores, among others, discriminated against her on the basis of age, race, sex, ethnicity or national origin, in violation of the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination. Hon. Christine A. Farrington, J.S.C., presided over a.. read more →

A Florida appeals court upheld a judgment of $350,000 in a lawsuit filed by a lawyer against her former client alleging defamation based on negative reviews of the lawyer posted on the internet by the former client. Blake v. Giustibelli, __ So.3d __ (Fla. 4th DCA, No. 4D14-3231, 1/6/2016), 2016 WL _______. Florida Attorney Ann-Marie.. read more →

In this case, an Ocean County judge ruled that litigants in domestic violence cases who want to introduce evidence contained on their cell phones, such as texts, emails, social media messages, or audio/visual evidence, must first provide such evidence to the court and the adversary in tangible form, such as on a printout or a.. read more →

The U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals  for the Third Judicial Circuit ruled this week that a school district in suburban Philadelphia was within its rights to fire Natalie Munroe, an English teacher in the district who blogged that her students were “rude, disengaged, lazy whiners.”  Munroe v. Central Bucks School District (3d Cir., September 4, 2015) Natalie.. read more →

In May 2010, Anthony Douglas Elonis’s wife of nearly seven years left him, taking with her their two young children. Elonis was an active user of the social networking web site Facebook. After his family left him, Elonis began “listening to more violent music” and posting on Facebook self-styled “rap” lyrics inspired by the music… read more →

On March 10, 2015, the New York County Lawyers Association (“NYCLA”) weighed in on the ethics of using the social media website “LinkedIn” for professional self-promotion by lawyers. Formal Opinion 748 addresses the ethical implications of LinkedIn profiles. Specifically, the opinion addresses (1) whether a LinkedIn Profile is considered “Attorney Advertising,” (2) when it is.. read more →

Plaintiffs John J. Robertelli and Gabriel Adamo, two New Jersey defense counsel charged with ethics violations involving the use of Facebook in a litigation, lost their bid to dismiss the ethics charges. Plaintiffs’ law firm represented defendants Borough of Oakland, the Borough of Oakland Police Department, and a police sergeant in a lawsuit filed by.. read more →

Trial lawyers must know where the ethical line is drawn between properly investigating jurors and improperly communicating with them. In today’s Internet-saturated world, the line is increasingly blurred. Therefore, the ethics committee of the American Bar Association (ABA) recently issued an opinion describing a trial lawyer’s ethical obligation when reviewing jurors’ information on the Internet in.. read more →

A California appeals court held that a trial court’s order directing a trial attorney to remove posts from her law firm website touting her successes constituted an unlawful prior restraint on the trial attorney’s constitutional right to free speech. Christie Steiner v. Superior Court of Santa Barbara County, 2d Civil No. B235347 (Super. Ct. No… read more →

In a case of first impression, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that “liking” something on Facebook is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment. Bland v. Roberts, Docket No. No. 12-1671 (4th Cir., September 18, 2013) Defendant, B.J. Roberts, was the Sheriff of the City of Hampton,.. read more →

In an interesting case of first impression, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that the sender of a text message can potentially be liable if an accident is caused by texting if the sender of the text knew or had special reason to know that the recipient would view the text while driving and thus.. read more →

Social media websites like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn often contain an enormous amount of highly personal information. Lawyers frequently mine social media websites for relevant evidence to be utilized in court when users of social media are involved in lawsuits. In general, information contained in social media websites is not protected by legal privilege or.. read more →

Upholding the decision of a trial judge who quashed a subpoena, New Jersey appellate court ruled that plaintiffs in a defamation suit over anonymous postings on a blog may not obtain the writers’ names via subpoena served on the corporate host of the blog. Somerset Development, LLC v. Cleaner Lakewood, Superior Court of New Jersey,.. read more →

Two New Jersey defense attorneys allegedly caused a paralegal to “friend” the plaintiff in a personal injury case so they could access information on his Facebook page that was not available to the public. The Office of Attorney Ethics (OAE) charged that the “friend” request, made “on behalf of and at the direction of” the.. read more →

In the first reported case of its kind in New Jersey, Judge Peter E. Doyne, Bergen County Assignment Judge, held attorney Daniel M. Kaminsky in contempt of court for violating multiple court orders to refrain from conducting research on the internet concerning the issues involved in a criminal trial in which Kaminsky participated as a.. read more →

  Several weeks ago, on Sunday, November 20th, I was a guest on The Caring Generation, a radio show airing on 630 KHOW-AM, a Talk Radio Station broadcasting from Denver, Colorado, and on the internet. The show is hosted by Pamela D. Wilson, who identified herself as the “Care Navigator.” The Caring Generation is about.. read more →

A Pennnsylvania trial judge recently ruled that a person had “no expectation of privacy” in Facebook postings and, therefore, the postings must be produced in lawsuit. The case arose out of a chain-reaction auto accident. Plaintiff Keith Largent was driving a motorcycle, with plaintiff Jessica Largent as a passenger. At an intersection, defendant Jessica Rosko.. read more →

Plaintiff husband and his wife were involved in divorce proceedings. In connection with those proceedings, plaintiff’s wife hired defendants, Innovative Investigations, Inc., and its principal Richard P. Leonard, to investigate plaintiff’s suspected infidelities. In the course of the investigation, defendant Leonard suggested to plaintiff’s wife that she place a GPS device on a family vehicle.. read more →

Several interesting lawyer ethics opinions and cases were published recently in New Jersey and other states. 1.       In Opinion 43 issued on June 28, 2011 by the New Jersey Supreme Court Committee on Attorney Advertising, the Committee considered a grievance filed against fifteen (15) New Jersey attorneys who participated in an internet company which owned.. read more →

A case recently decided by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, continues the line of cases decided in New Jersey defining the privacy rights of users of the Internet. In Juzwiak v. John/Jane Doe a.k.a. “Josh Hartnett,” a.k.a. Jharthat@yahoo.com (App. Div., August 3, 2010), plaintiff, a tenured teacher, began receiving harassing email messages.. read more →

Have you noticed the enormous growth in the user base of the internet and social media? Hard to miss it, I know. The numbers of friends and neighbors, even strangers apparently, who regularly use the internet and social media such as Facebook, Linked In and Twitter is staggering, and the growth rate in the past.. read more →