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Twitter: Legal Yes, But Always Appropriate?

by Carolyn Elefant on August 23, 2009 · 0 comments

in Tech & Web, Websites and Blogs

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Two weeks ago, while paging through a hard copy of the New York Times, I stumbled across this interesting controversy reported in the about casting director Daryl Eisenberg‘s use of Twitter to comment on performers as they were auditioning for her.  Though Eisenberg didn’t identify any performers by name, her tweets included comments like:

“If we wanted to hear it a different way, don’t worry, we’ll ask,” or “If you are going to sing about getting on your knees, might as well do it and crawl towards us … right?”

Eisenberg defended her unconventional use of Twitter, pointing out, there are no rules against tweeting an audition and that besides, she didn’t breach confidentiality.  But others, like Actors Equity, disagreed, asserting that Eisenberg violated “expected levels of respect and professionalism.”  Eisenberg has since apologized.

Though the story involves actors, not lawyers, it raises questions about appropriate limits on use of Twitter by lawyers.  After all, even though there aren’t any bans on tweeting from a court room or a deposition, should we do it?  And does it make a difference if our tweets compliments a fellow lawyer argument rather than ridiculing him?  In short, just because tweeting is generally legal, doesn’t mean we should do always do it.  Especially as lawyers.

Have you observed any use of Twitter by a lawyer that you regard as inappropriate?  I’d love to hear your story.  Please post below.

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