I just happened to be producing a course on The Legal Ethics of Social Media when I read the title of this article on the ABA Journal: Former DA’s fake Facebook page, intended to ‘snoop’ bath salt sales, cited in suspension.  Yes, creating a fake to spy on illegal bath salt sales was deemed deceptive and helped the lawyer to get suspended for one year.[1]

Social Media, Attorneys & Ethics

Yes, your online conduct and social media activities can get you into hot water!  Use good judgement when using social media in your practice and your personal life.

According to the disciplinary board’s findings, she sent an email to attorneys in her office that explained she had made a fake Facebook page and they could be use the fake page “to befriend defendants or witnesses if you want to snoop.” She also sent a friend request to one of the criminal defendants in the case and one of her sons. Most, if not all, states consider this conduct to be unethical.

[1] In addition, the disciplinary board also found that the attorney had violated ethics rules by sending emails and texts to two judges about pending criminal cases when she didn’t copy the defendants or their lawyers.