An AP article dated 2011-05-10, describing how in Colorado Springs, police traced a stolen truck, and caught the thief, through the owner's iPhone's GPS. The owner had left the phone on the seat of the truck; after the theft, he tracked the truck's location through a website monitoring the phone's GPS, while updating sheriff's dispatchers.
In this article in the May, 2011, California Lawyer, authors Christina M. Gagnier and Lisa J. Borodkin discuss the perils of trial publicity by means of social media, with particular reference to California Rules of Court Rule 5-120.
In this article dated May 10, 2011, in the NationalJournal online, author Josh Smith writes about hearings by the U.S. Senate concerning Apple's compiling of iPhone GPS tracking data. In this article on the site NetworkWorld, author Yoni Heisler describes Apple's statement about the controversy.
This is a commercial link to the website of "cyber-safety expert" Shawn Edgington, touting her book, The Parent's Guide to Texting, Facebook, and Social Media: Understanding the Benefits and Dangers of Parenting in a Digital World. Also available at Amazon. While the book (to judge from the website) is aimed at parents, the explication of rules for intelligent use of social media would seem to apply to lawyers and their clients as well.
An AP story here, by Larry Margasak, tells horror stories of taxpayers who find out too late that their tax refund went to someone else...who learned only their name and SSN.
The "Holy Grail" of identity theft is name, date of birth, driver license number, and SSN...which is a good reason to never put ANY of them on a social networking site.
The current issue (Spring 2011) of The Boston Bar Journal carries this article by Superior Court Associate Justice Linda F. Giles, in which she presents the argument that the only practical solution to jurors' insistence on searching out information on the internet, for cases on which they serve, is giving them expanded jury instructions that convince them that they can only carry out their duties, and fairly judge their cases, by limiting themselves to information that can be challenged in open court by the parties and their counsel.
In this 2011-05-24 ethics opinion from the San Diego County Bar Association, the authors conclude that a Facebook friending request to a represented party violates Rule 2-100 of the California Rules of Professional Conduct. Further, that an attorney's duty not to decieve prohibits such a communication even to an unrepresented party, unless the request makes a clear statement of the purpose of the request.
(NOTE: the link above is to a secured page; not all browsers can access it directly. If you get redirected to the SDCBA portal, go to the index here, and search for opinion "2011-2" toward the bottom of the page.)
Your humble correspondent just returned from México. Upon arrival, I set about important business, like dialing up the DVR for an episode of The Good Wife on CBS, which aired on Sunday, December 11, 2011: What Went Wrong. The guide says: "Alicia searches for a way to have a judgment thrown out after a surprising guilty verdict." If you didn't see it, it's available here for free, at least for the next few weeks.
No spoilers here...I won't tell you how it turns out, or why, but suffice it to say that the show's writers seem to be familiar with the issues raised in the materials listed on this website.
Recently, it came to light that plaintiffs' litigator Matthew B. Murray, of Charlottesville, VA, was sanctioned in the amount of $522K, for telling his client, during the course of litigation, to remove photos from his Facebook page...and other discovery transgressions.
I had heard an earlier report (perhaps an NPR broadcast?--I don't recall) that said that he had also been disbarred, but this recent article in attorney Thomas J. Crane's San Antonio Employment Law Blog states otherwise--that he only "has apparently resigned from his firm and quit the practice of law." (And no wonder...) Further, a search of the Virginia State Bar's discipline records shows no discipline, and a search with his name on the Bar's Attorney Search page shows him as still active and in good standing.
However, he was referred to the Virgina State Bar on serious charges by the trial judge, Charlottesville Circuit Judge Edward Hogshire. So perhaps it's only a matter of time. You can read Judge Hogshire's Interim Order, announcing that sanctions would be awarded, and referring Mr. Murray to the Bar on disciplinary charges, and his Final Order, which also slapped Mr. Murray's client, Isaiah Lester, with another $180,000 in sanctions.