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October 26 - Ethics of Social Media Research

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Ethics of Social Media Research

Date: Wednesday, October 26, 2022
Time: 11 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
Credits: 1.5 EP
In this program, attendees will learn how to avoid potential ethical traps when you research social media profiles for investigative/background purposes and to use as evidence. The seminar is partially based on the speakers' fifty-five-page Social Media chapter from their book, The Cybersleuth's Guide to the Internet . This program specifically addresses how MPRC Rules apply to social media research: Rule 1.1 (and the new comment 8), as well as MPRC Rules 3.3, 3.4(a), 3.5, 4.1, 4.1(a), 4.2, 5.3(b)(1), 8.4(c). This program also reviews pertinent Ethics opinions in more than two dozen jurisdictions, discusses relevant caselaw, and reviews detailed Guidelines for social media research issued by the New York State Bar’s Commercial and Federal Litigation Section.

The speaker will review:
• Social Media Research Ethical Guidelines
• State Bar, Local Bar, and ABA Ethics Opinions
• Cases Decided in Various States
• How They All Tie into the ABA Model Rules of Professional Conduct

The program will also explore:
  • Who's your friend? Could "friending" violate the deception or ex parte communication ethical rules?
  • Whether it is ethical to research the social media profiles of parties and witnesses during discovery or trial?
  • Whether it is ethical to research the social media profiles of potential jurors before trial or seated jurors before and during trial?
  • If advising clients to delete, deactivate, or adjust privacy settings on their social networking accounts lead to an ethical violation or spoliation charge?
  • Configuring security/privacy settings in your own profile to avoid ethical breaches.

This is a “simulive” rebroadcast of a previously recorded presentation. The presenter will be available during the rebroadcast to answer questions. Originally recorded on June 4, 2020.

Carole A. Levitt, Esq.
Carole A. Levitt is the founder and President of Internet For Lawyers ( and Vice-President of Since 1999, she has been a nationally recognized CLE seminar speaker and author about Internet investigative and legal research; social media research; social media ethics; and Google search, and Google Cloud Apps. She co-authored two editions of Internet Legal Research on a Budget published by the ABA LPD (in 2015 and 2020). Carole has also co-authored six other ABA LPD books, including: two editions of The Lawyers Guide to Fact Finding on the Internet (2004 and 2006); Find Info like a Pro, Volume 1 (2010) and Volume 2 (2011); Google for Lawyers: Essential Search Tips and Productivity Tools (2010); and Google Gmail and Calendar in One Hour for Lawyers (2013). She has also co-authored fourteen editions of IFL Press’s The Cybersleuth’s Guide to the Internet (1999–2019) and hundreds of Internet research articles.

Previously, Carole was a California attorney, a law librarian in Chicago and Los Angeles, and a Legal Research and Writing Professor at Pepperdine University School of Law. She graduated with distinction from UIC John Marshall Law School where she was a member of the school’s law review and worked full-time as a law librarian at the school. Carole has a Masters in Library Science and a B.A. in Political Science from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana.

Carole is an active member of the ABA LPD, and served on its Publications Advisory Board from 2004-2020 and on its Executive Council from 2006 to 2011. Carole is past Chair of the California State Bar’s Law Practice Management & Technology (LPMT) Executive Committee and in 2013 she became the second recipient of LPMT’s Lifetime Achievement Award. In 2012, Carole was inducted into the College of Law Practice Management, an honorary legal technology association, and in 2013 she received the “Fastcase Fifty” award, recognizing “50 of the smartest, most courageous innovators, techies, visionaries, and leaders in the law.” You can reach Carole at

Important information & login instructions:
  • This is not eligible as part of the Annual Pass or for audit. 
  • Minimum attendance time required - no partial credit available.
  • Registration closes the day before the program; registration and payment must be received prior to 10 a.m. MT the day before the event.
  • Once registered for the webinar, you will receive emails (one day before and shortly before the start time) with instructions to join and a link to check your computer system requirements. Join the webinar up to 30 minutes prior to the start time.
This program is available online only through a desktop, laptop, iPad or mobile device with Internet capabilities. It is considered a live program and attendees will receive live CLE credit after attending