Warning for Lawyers: Facebook Is Not Always Your Friend

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Two New Jersey lawyers recently learned a valuable lesson when it comes to social media. While sites like Facebook and Twitter can be an effective marketing tool for law firms, they should never be used as a weapon.

John Robertelli and Gabriel Adamo are facing ethics charges after allegedly asking a paralegal to send a Facebook friend request to the plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit. The Office of Attorney Ethics maintains the request “was a ruse and a subterfuge designed to gain access to non-public portions of [the] Facebook page for improper use.”

As detailed by the New Jersey Law Journal, the lawyers argue that they asked the paralegal to conduct general Internet research, but never asked her to send a friend request to the plaintiff. They also maintain they were unfamiliar with Facebook privacy settings and did not understand the distinction between what was public and what was private on the social media site.

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