Wednesday, December 28, 2011

2011 Social Media Law Predictions Update Part I

On January 10, 2011, I made ten predictions for 2011 regarding social media and the law. Now it is time to evaluate my ability to read the tea leaves in social media and the law.

1) Employers will continue to grapple with where to draw the line regarding employee social media use. This prediction has come true. For example, the NLRB has dealt with multiple cases this year concerning social media usage by employees and is trying to balance an employee's First Amendment right versus an employer's ability to discipline.

2) More courts will address social media usage in their instructions to juries and there will be more e-discovery related social media matters. This prediction has come true. For example, California recently banned jurors from using social media to discuss their active cases.

3) The judicial system, bar associations, and bar counsels will work to find a common sense approach regarding how lawyers, judges, and clients may or may not interact with each other on social media. This predication has come true. For example, the San Diego County Bar Association wrote an opinion regarding social media and ethics.

4) Intellectual property law will be updated to better protect copyright owners. This prediction is in the process of coming true. As I am writing this post Congress is debating the Stop Online Piracy Act and several other similar pieces of legislation.

5) The Federal Election Commission and state election boards will update their rules to address social media usage by political candidates. This prediction has come true around the world. For example, Canadians now face strict social media rules prohibiting premature transmission of election results.

Four of my first five predictions have come true and it appears that after the Congressional recess my prediction that copyright owners will soon have more intellectual property protection may also be realized. I will be reviewing my second five predictions soon-so stay tuned.

To learn more about these issues you may contact me at

Copyright 2011 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.

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