Every so often an ethics case comes along that has the potential for far-reaching ramifications. Hunter v. Virginia State Bar is one. It could mean lawyers can wilfully disseminate client information for their own gain without violating client confidentiality rules, but also that lawyers cannot blog about their practices and their successes without disclaimers. The legal ethics world is abuzz with whatHunter will mean across the country.
- Can lawyers ethically blog about their cases? (nylawblog.typepad.com)
In the Internet arena, “liking” a Facebook page is protected speech that’s equivalent to sticking a political campaign sign in your front yard, a federal appeals court in Virginia said Wednesday in a closely watched First Amendment retaliation case.
A three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit overturned a trial judge who concluded that the act of “liking” a Facebook page does not come with constitutional protection. The appeals court revived certain claims in a suit against a Virginia sheriff who didn’t reappoint a group of employees who supported a rival candidate for office.
“On the most basic level, clicking on the ‘like’ button literally causes to be published the statement that the user ‘likes’ something, which is itself a substantive statement,” Chief Judge William Traxler Jr. wrote in the Fourth Circuit ruling. “Aside from the fact that liking the Campaign Page constituted pure speech, it also was symbolic expression.”
- Facebook ‘Like’ Protected By First Amendment, Appeals Court Rules(huffingtonpost.com)
- “Liking” a Facebook Page Is Presumptively Protected Speech (volokh.com)
- Facebook ‘Like’ is Protected Speech, Appeals Court Says(about.bloomberglaw.com)
- Facebook ‘Like’ Is Protected Speech, Appeals Court Says (bloomberg.com)
- Facebook ‘Like’ Entitled to First Amendment Protection, Appeals Court Rules (usnews.com)
- Facebook “Like” Feature Is Protected Speech under the U.S. Constitution(readingbyeugene.com)
- Appeals court rules that Facebook ‘Likes’ are protected as free speech(theverge.com)
- Court rules Facebook ‘like’ is free speech (politico.com)
- Court: Facebook ‘liking’ is free speech (cnn.com)
- Facebook ‘Likes’ protected by US Constitution (telegraph.co.uk)
ALBANY – Responding to concerns voiced by law school deans, New York will give foreign master of law degree students more time to meet the requirement that new lawyers perform 50 hours of pro bono service before being admitted to the bar.
The Advisory Committee on New York State Pro Bono Bar Admission Requirements has decided that the previous interpretation of the state pro bono rules giving LL.M. students as little as a year to fulfill the 50-hour requirement was too limited.
Under an updated guide to the new rules released on Aug. 26, the committee said pro bono work performed by foreign students one year before they begin their course of study will count toward meeting the 50-hour obligation for entry to the New York bar.
- New York’s mandatory pro bono requirement might take work away from small firms and solos (lawprofessors.typepad.com)
- I Got My Dream Job Through Pro Bono (thecareerist.typepad.com)