105. Legal Ethics and Social Media

DATE: Thursday, July 20, 2017      TIME: 1:30 PM - 2:30 PM
LOCATION: USPTO, 1st Floor, California Room

This presentation will focus on the topic of social media and its relevance to issues of professional responsibility for lawyers. The presentation will touch upon the ethical issues faced when an attorney posts or writes on social media platforms. The presentation will include a general overview of major social media sites and statistics pertaining to their usage, how social media posts by attorneys can constitute "communication" and advertising subject to professional responsibility rules, and suggestions on how attorneys can avoid getting into trouble when they choose to post online.

No CLE credit will be provided for this panel.


Edward Lear

Founding Partner, Century Law Group LLP

Mr. Lear provides lawyers with legal ethics and risk management compliance advice and defends attorneys against professional malpractice and related claims, State Bar disciplinary proceedings, and legal fee disputes. He consults with law firms regarding attorney advertising, conflicts of interest waivers and consents, motions to disqualify, fee divisions, class action ethics, law firm structuring, partnership disputes, and the acquisition and departure of attorneys. He also represents selected clients in commercial litigation.

Mr. Lear is a recognized speaker at legal seminars on professional responsibility and conduct, has published numerous articles, and has been qualified as an expert witness in state and federal courts. He provides expert witness testimony in the field of attorney conduct to both plaintiffs and defendants in civil litigation matters.

Mr. Lear is a 1983 graduate, cum laude, of Dartmouth College and a 1987 graduate of U.C.L.A. School of Law, where he was a member of the Law Review and the Moot Court Honors Program. He joined Thelen, Marrin, Johnson & Bridges immediately after law school and worked for four years as a "big firm" litigation associate before becoming a Los Angeles-based State Bar prosecutor. For three years, Mr. Lear prosecuted California attorneys, never losing a trial, before co-founding Gerry & Lear in 1994. In 2002, he founded Century Law Group, now a five-attorney litigation boutique firm.

Mr. Lear has tried over 200 cases, including over 25 jury trials.