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The Social Media Law Firm Newsfeed

Cloud Services No Failsafe Against Hackers – Commercial Crime International

January 4, 2017

Security breaches have become more and more common. While companies are struggling how to protect and manage their digital information in the cloud, the International Chamber of Commerce turned to Ethan for best practices in its Commercial Crime International’s October 2016 issue. Therein, Ethan provides insight into how companies should be managing their digital information: […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Do Not Rely on “Savings Clauses”

April 5, 2016

Employers commonly insert a “savings clause” at the beginning or end of their social media policy. Such a clause states that no rule in the policy is intended to prohibit protected activity. For example: “This policy is not to be interpreted so as to interfere with employee rights to self-organize, form, join, or to engage […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Prohibit Discriminatory and Derogatory Comments

March 29, 2016

A social media policy that prohibits “negative statements about the company, managers, or employees” would likely be found unlawful under the National Labor Relations Act because it would be considered vague and ambiguous with additional context. So what can you do?   A social media policy can prohibit the use of racial or ethnic slurs; […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: When in Doubt, Plagiarize

March 22, 2016

What is “good for the goose” is generally “good for the gander.” If the National Labor Relations Board has upheld a provision of a social media policy, then you should consider tailoring that provision for the employer’s own social media policy.   You should be mindful, however, that because there is no one-size-fits-all work rule […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Prohibit the Disclosure of Company Trade Secrets

March 15, 2016

Employees have the right to discuss the terms and conditions of their employment, but they have no protected right to disclose trade secrets. But if your policy simply prohibits the “disclosure of confidential information,” you may run afoul with the National Labor Relations Act. The reason this clause is problematic is that it remains unclear […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Identify a Company Spokesperson

March 8, 2016

Every business must protect their right to identify who can speak on behalf of the company. But you cannot restrict employee speech by instituting a vague prohibition that might interfere with employee fundamental rights.   On the one hand, your social media policy should specify who within the organization has the authority to represent the […]

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Legaltech News: Social Media-Focused Law Firm Opens Its Doors

March 1, 2016

Between 2008 and 2015, the percentage of the U.S. population that has at least one social media account rose from 24 percent to 73 percent. This popularity, and the billions upon billions of dollars that accompany it, has facilitated the need for legislation and ethical debate around the proper use of social networking.   Attorney […]

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Namely: A Balancing Act: How to Manage Social Media in the Workplace

February 23, 2016

  The push and pull of social media monitoring is a difficult one to manage. As an HR manager, your relationship with an employee or a prospective employee’s social media profile must have the right amount of intimacy and distance. But how do you find the balance between being a laid back, carefree manager and […]

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The Jax Daily Record: Attorney receiving $350,000 award after false statements posted online

February 16, 2016

Be careful what you say. That’s been good advice since people began communicating with language. The most modern evolution — be careful what you post on the Internet — was confirmed last week by the 4th District Court of Appeal. The court on Wednesday upheld a decision by the Circuit Court in Broward County that […]

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Law360: Boutiques, Smaller Firms Set Pace For Social Media Law

February 9, 2016

Although demand for social media-related legal counsel is growing exponentially and has piqued some BigLaw interest, the practice area remains largely dominated by midsize law firms and boutiques, including one newcomer that claims to be the world’s first dedicated solely to social media legal issues. It is largely boutiques and BigLaw outsiders — and now […]

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Racist Social Media Post Costs Real Estate Company Clients

February 2, 2016

Don’t think an employee social media policy and training in necessary? Think Again. A South African real estate agent’s racist comment recently went viral, causing a wave of angry responses calling for the agent to be fired and vacate the country. The public backlash extended not only to the real estate agent, but also its […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Advise Employees of Your Right to Monitor Them

January 26, 2016

Of course we want to monitor our employees social media use. But we cannot monitor them in a way that may violate the law or your employees’ rights.   If your jurisdiction allows you to monitor employees’ online activities, then your social media policy should advise its employees accordingly. The policy should state that all […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Tailor the Policy to the Your Business

January 19, 2016

Some employers will copy and paste someone else’s social media policy to save time and money. That’s a big mistake.   Why? Because there’s no “one size fits all” social media policy has been created. You should tailor your policy to the specific needs of your company. In addition to addressing activity under the National […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Do Not Prohibit Employees from Identifying Themselves with the Company

January 12, 2016

Employees have a right under federal law to utilize the company name and logo while engaging in protected concerted activity, such as on electronic or paper leaflets, cartoons, or picket signs in connection with a protest involving the terms and conditions of employment.   Thus, a rule within a social media policy that prohibits employees […]

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3 Necessary Steps to Protect Your Trademarks on Social Media

January 11, 2016

Your intellectual property sets your company apart from its competitors. Your name, logo, website, marketing materials, and business strategy are therefore amongst your valuable most assets. But are they protected from social media legal risks? Startups, websites, and applications are being created faster than any time in history. These new competitors are looking to find […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Do Not Restrict More than is Necessary

January 5, 2016

Some employer’s initial reaction is to implement a broad policy that could cover any potential negative or harmful social media posts. But this could be a big mistake.   Overly restricting employee use of social media could not only decrease employee morale, but also could get the employer in “hot water” with the National Labor […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Provide Specific Examples that Demonstrate Context

December 29, 2015

A social media policy may be unenforceable if it is difficult to determine what speech is allowed versus what speech is prohibited. Here’s how you can provide clarity through context:   A work rule’s context provides the key to determining the “reasonableness” of a particular rule’s construction. Rules that clarify and restrict their scope by […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Define Key Concepts and Terms in Plain English

December 22, 2015

Your social media policy may not be enforceable if it is not understood. Here are tips to ensure your employees understand what speech is prohibited under the policy.   Define Key Concepts A trusted method to avoid ambiguity in interpreting work rules within a social media policy is to provide definitions of key terms — […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Use Specific and Clear Language

December 15, 2015

Employers must draft clear and specific rules that are not open to interpretation. A plain reading of each work rule should leave employees with no confusion over the permissible and prohibited use of social media. Employers commonly run afoul of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) by incorporating general, broad, or vague prohibitions against certain […]

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Social Media Policy Best Practice: Set Forth the Goals of the Policy

December 8, 2015

A social media policy should begin with a statement of the goals that the company is working to achieve through the use of online technologies and social media. One primary goal of the policy should be to provide employees with a clear understanding of their right to use social media, while also providing specific guidelines […]

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Law360: Boutiques, Smaller Firms Set Pace For Social Media Law

December 4, 2015

Law360recently interviewed me about my decision to dedicate a law practice exclusively to provide solutions to social media legal issues. Here’s a small preview from their story: Although demand for social media related legal counsel is growing exponentially and has piqued some BigLaw interest, the practice area remains largely dominated by midsize law firms and […]

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Best Practices for Drafting Employee Social Media Use Policies

December 1, 2015

A social media policy should provide employees with a clear understanding of what constitutes appropriate, acceptable, and lawful business behavior. It should specify what type of content, language, and behavior is considered appropriate, versus that which is deemed offensive and therefore prohibited.   Clear, comprehensive, strategically written policies also will help your company demonstrate to […]

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Social Media Legal Risks for Financial Institutions

November 10, 2015

A financial institution’s social media engagement can not only attract new customers and increase community engagement, but it can also create exposure to serious legal risks. Without implementing a social media risk management program, financial institutions can experience compliance and legal risk that can result in lawsuits, regulatory investigations audits, and enforcement actions. This can […]

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How Do Advertising Laws Apply to Social Media?

November 2, 2015

Consumers spend time on Facebook than any other website on the planet. More than Google. More than Yahoo! It therefore follows that we should be engaging consumers by promoting our products and services on social media. It’s no secret that by engaging consumers through social media promotions, we can grow our social influence and reach, […]

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The Legal Risks and Rewards of Using Social Media

My grandfather once told me that everything good in life could also be bad. That there are two sides to every coin. And how it all depends on your perspective. Okay, I just made that up. My grandfather mostly talked about how in his day, he had to walk to school, barefoot, in the snow, […]

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How Social Media Affects the Law

November 1, 2015

Social media is destroying the legal system. It is tearing at the fabric of our laws. Manipulating our fundamental rights. And eroding our justice system. In five years it will cause the downfall of society, trigger the apocalypse, and set forth a series of catastrophic events that will destroy our planet. Okay, maybe that was […]

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