Date/Time: Monday, May 18, 6:00 – 8:15 p.m.

The FCBA Professional Responsibility Committee will sponsor a CLE on Monday, May 18 from 6:00 – 8:15 p.m. entitled “Staying Virtuous in the Virtual World: Social Media and the Ethical Lawyer.” This program will be held at Morgan, Lewis & Bockius, LLP, 2020 K St. NW, Washington, DC.


6:00 – 6:05 p.m.         Welcome and Introductions 

Confirmed speakers:
Hope C. Todd, Legal Ethics Counsel, District of Columbia Bar
James McCauley, Legal Ethics Counsel, Virginia State Bar
Daniel Schumack, Partner, Schumack Ryals PLLC, Fairfax, VA 

Jeff Kosseff, Associate, Covington & Burling
Gregg P. Skall, Partner, Womble, Carlyle 

6:05 – 6:55 p.m.         Pitfalls in Using Public-Facing Social Media
The panelists will discuss how the ethics rules apply to Internet-based applications like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, list-serves, and blogging, including:

  • What is social media in context of this CLE?
  • The lines between regulated advertising and personal posts.
  • The lines between allowable advertising and violations.
  • Bad Press: dealing with negative or defamatory postings, or negative ratings, within the bounds of the ethics rules.
  • Endorsements, ratings, and testimonials: limits on giving, receiving, soliciting, or using.

6:55 – 7:05 p.m.         Break 

7:05 – 7:50 p.m.         The Dangers of Mixing the Personal and Professional for Lawyers and Their Clients
The panel will discuss problems with providing informal advice social media or in acting rashly by e-mail, particularly in the context of a contested matter, including:

  • Inadvertent rendering of advice or solicitation.
  • Organizing online crowdsource funding to solicit donations for specific legal work on behalf of an individual or groups.
  • The take down: deleting that improvident message (remedial measures v. secretion of evidence).
  • Use of social media to research opposing counsel or parties

7:50 – 8:15 p.m.         Issues of Constitutional Magnitude
The panel will discuss the risk of discipline in states where the lawyer is not licensed and potential free speech defenses in a disciplinary inquiry, including:

  • How to determine which jurisdiction’s ethical rules apply.
  • How to avoid the unauthorized practice of law when responding to queries from people in jurisdictions where you are not licensed.
  • The reach of the ethics rules into the attorney’s personal life on the Internet.
  • Posting comments about judges, ALJ’s or FCC Commissioners.
  • Involvement in campaigns or protests for industry, political or social causes.
  • The role of the First Amendment in the lawyer’s right to personal expression.


Register Online Download Registration Form