H.R. 347 Becomes Pub. L. 112-98 – President Obama signed H.R. 347 into law on March 8th, making it the 98th public law enacted during the 112th Congressional session. The law amends 18 U.S.C. Section 1752. According to a press release issued by the White House, the bill “…makes it a Federal crime to enter or remain knowingly in any restricted area of the White House, the Vice President’s official residence, or their respective grounds without lawful authority. “ Others are less sanguine, arguing that the bill “criminalizes protest” and they have re-labeled it the “trespass bill.” The ACLU drafted an opinion, noting that while the bill creates no new crimes, it does lower the intent requirement, making it easier for a prosecutor to prove his or her case.
8 Ways Attorneys Can Use Social Media – Karen Nicols published an article, 8 Ways to Meet Your Professional Goals Using Social Media, in Law Technology News. According to Nicols, attorneys can use social media to enhance their practice by adhering to the following principles: “ … 1. Develop your personal brand. 2. Treat Twitter like a mini-press release. 3. Knowledge is power. 4. Check your reach. 5. SEO rewards fresh new content. 6. Automate and/or make updating your status easy. 7. Show off your expertise. 8. Communicate consistently with your target audience….“
Is Facebook Really Private? – Attorneys are using social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter to enhance their practices. How much information should they divulge online, i.e. are Facebook settings really private? The South Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct require that attorneys maintain client confidentiality. What if an attorney posts information about his or her client on Facebook? At the most recent Professionalism Series event for Charleston School of Law students, Charleston County Bar President John Massalon and two of his colleagues, Natalie Bluestein and John Drennan, addressed this topic. According to Bluestein, some Charleston attorneys are currently facing disciplinary charges for items posted on Facebook. The ABA Journal Law News Now recently published an article about a federal prosecutor kicked off of a landfill probe because of anonymous online comments that he made to the Times-Picayune. According to the article, federal prosecutor, Sal Perricone, ”…admitted making hundreds of posts at NOLA.com using the name Henry L. Mencken1951, according to the New Orleans Times-Picayune, the Associated Press and WWLTV.com.” Since his admission, he has been banned from working on any cases involving the landfill probe and his name was referred to the Justice Department’s Office of Professional Responsibility. According to the article, Perricone made anonymous online comments to “…criticize federal judges, political figures and his boss. In one comment, Mencken1951 asserted that U.S. District Judge Helen “Ginger” Berrigan is someone who “loves killers.” In another, the writer complained that Letten “is great for taking credit for other people’s hard work . It is the assistants and agents who do the work and should be congratulated.”
iPad 3 Reviews for Lawyers — Yesterday, Apple released the latest version of the new iPad. According to Findlaw’s blog, the iPad”s “new voice dictation could make lawyers’ lives easier” since voice dictation is now built-in. In addition to supporting four languages (English, French, German and Japanese), the voice dictation will “… interface with third-party apps…. That means users will be able to dictate their LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter updates into their iPads — making it potentially easier and more convenient for attorneys to take advantage of social media.”