Every law firm has a social media policy. This is generally an HR-type policy that talks about the dos and don’ts of what your employees, lawyers, and staff should and shouldn’t be doing online. It addresses things like “don’t harass people on the internet,” “don’t spread false information,” and, of course, “keep all client communications as confidential as possible.” But there’s a growing trend amongst law firms to have a separate policy to address social media investigations.
Like the HR policy that governs the employment law-related risks of what you do and don’t do online, your social media investigations policy addresses the ethical risks and logistical risks that your law firm can face when your attorneys and staff are doing social media investigations themselves. For example, your lawyers or staff members may send “friend requests” to witnesses, communicate with represented parties, and even create fake profiles to get the information that your clients need. And if they do, the consequences can be dire.
Your policy also improves workflows and streamlines the process for your clients. Consider the time it will take for one of your lawyers to research 100 Facebook profiles at their hourly rate. Strategically, your lawyers should focus on case strategy, preparing motions, and moving a case toward dismissal – while a social media investigations expert conducts these searches more cost-effectively.
So, how can your law firm do the social media investigations it needs to be the right advocate for your client, while at the same time, minimizing your client’s bills and mitigating legal, ethical, and logistical risks? By having a policy that delegates your social media investigations to a trusted open-source provider, like SMI Aware.
SMI Aware has exclusively conducted social media and online investigations for law firms for over ten years. SMI Aware’s team of independent social media investigation experts has been specially trained in conducting social media and online investigations that get results while keeping litigation costs down. Best of all, SMI Aware leverages its own proprietary technology to make sure that every search is done in compliance with the legal ethics rules.
Maintaining a social media investigations policy creates a win-win environment for your firm and for your clients. So, what are you waiting for? Contact SMI Aware today to see how we can help your law firm and your clients with your next social media and online investigation.