On September 21, 2012, Law2sm founder, Deborah Gonzalez, served as the program chair for the Institute of Continuing Legal Education in Georgia (ICLE) program entitled Social Media and the Law: Beyond The Essentials. The program was introduced by John Timmons, of Timmons, Warnes and Associates, LLP, http://www.classiccitylaw.com/.
This is the second year Attorney Gonzalez has served as chair for this annual program. Last year the full-day program focused on social media legal basics that every practicing attorney should know including an in-depth look at different social media platforms, how they are used by attorneys, and some pitfalls to watch out for in using social media. In addition, the 2011 program included sessions on digital assets, social media in the criminal system, social media and employment law, and ethical and privacy concerns related to social media use. For a recap of last year’s program see: http://law2sm.com/icle-social-media-and-the-law-the-essentials/.
This year, Attorney Gonzalez began the day with an update of the social media legal landscape. She shared a YouTube clip “Social Media Revolution 2012” http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZQzsQkMFgHE as well as an Info graphic from Mashable.com depicting the amount of data uploaded per minute on the different social media platforms http://mashable.com/2012/06/22/data-created-every-minute/.
So what has changed from 2011 to 2012?
- We need to move beyond talking about the basics
- Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest (no longer LinkedIn, soon to be Instagram)
- Olympics never the same
- Digital Campaign 2.0
- NLRB – 3rd Memo on Social Media Policies
- Trade associations issued more white papers, regulations & guidelines
- Google Plus still around
Next up on the agenda was Brian Wassom, of the Wassom.com blog fame, http://www.wassom.com/, who gave a fascinating presentation on “Augmented Legalities.” Brian is a commercial litigator in Southeast Michigan whose practice focuses on copyright, trademark, publicity rights, media law, and related subject matter. He is a partner and the chair of the Social, Mobile and Emerging Media Practice Group at the law firm Honigman Miller Schwartz and Cohn LLP. His session presented first an overview of some interesting technological developments in terms of augmented reality – digitally enhancing our sensory experience – and augmented sociality, including Google glasses, gamification, facial recognition, etc. The second part of Bran’s session presented 4 areas of legal concerns: copyrights, privacy negligence, and product liability. For more information check out his eBook at http://www.wassom.com/ebook.html.
Attorney Gonzalez focused the next session on “Digital Immortality and the Law.” This session built on the 2011 session of Digital Assets but went beyond the exploration of intangible online property to the power of dead hands, and the possibility of life not ending but becoming transformed into a living brain intelligence. She shared with the audience another video clip, “Digital Death” http://www.lifeinsurancefinder.com.au/infographics/what-happens-online-when-you-die/.
The afternoon brought Matthew Clarke, partner at Smith, Gambrell, & Russell, LLP, in Atlanta (http://www.sgrlaw.com/attorneys/profiles/mclarke/). His session, Updates on Social Media and Employment Law covered the entire employment cycle – from recruitment to termination – and the impact social media has had on it. Attorney Clarke also gave an update on the 3rd NLRB memo and some of the controversial policy statements made by the NLRB that stand in contrast to long-standing law and legal principles such as trademark and confidentiality during investigations. Matthew also discussed the recent state legislation prohibiting employers from requesting candidate passwords as criteria for employment. The session included various examples of postings from “wayward” employees and social media mishaps.
The day ended with a two-part presentation by Attorney Gonzalez on How to Conduct a Social Media Legal Audit for Your Client. This session gave an overview of the Socially Legal Audit tool developed by Law2sm, and how attorneys can use it to identify and resolve potential liability concerns for their clients.
Feedback from the evaluations of the program indicated another resounding success and some great ideas for next year’s session. Stay tuned or better yet, let us know what you would like us to explore in 2013.
For more information about the program and/or to secure materials from the 2011 and 2012 sessions please contact ICLE at http://iclega.org/.