Lawyers who maintain active social media presences should be aware of recent opinions by ethics committees in New York discussing the extent to which lawyers' postings on the social media page LinkedIn constitute attorney advertising. These committees have addressed the extent to which lawyers' social media postings subject them to regulation for attorney advertising within the meaning of the New York Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC). N.Y. City Formal Op. 2015-7; N.Y. Cty. Formal Op. 748 (2013). For example, is the mere listing of biographical information on LinkedIn sufficient to constitute attorney advertising such that the copy must be preserved for a period of one year and designated as such? Or is it more appropriate to look to the primary purpose of the posting to determine whether the lawyer's subjective intent was to garner the retention of the lawyer or law firm?
In this article published in ABA/BNA Lawyers' Manual on Professional Conduct, RK&O partner James Q. Walker and Barry R. Temkin of Mound Cotton Wollan & Greengrass attempt to reconcile the views and perspectives of the two ethics committees in order to provide guidance to lawyers practicing in New York.