Reading the tea leaves and advising clients is what lawyers are paid to do. 2010 was the coming out party for social media and social media law. With the release of the movie "The Social Network" and Facebook surpassing Google in several different web traffic metrics, social media and the practice of social media law has finally come of age. In no particular order, below are some of my social media law predictions for 2011:
1. Employers will continue to grapple with where to draw the line regarding employee social media use.
2. More courts will address social media usage in their instructions to juries and there will be more e-discovery related social media matters.
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 other other on social media.
4. Intellectual property law will be updated to better protect copyright owners.
5. The Federal Election Commission and state election boards will update their rules to address social media usage by political candidates.
6. Regulated industries such as banking and finance, pharma, etc...will continue refining their approach to regulating social media usage.
7. Federal and state governments will determine what official government social media records need to be retained.
8. Homeland Security, the CIA, FBI, NSA, U.S. Armed Forces, etc... will need re-evaluate their social media policies and determine what they allow their employees to post online.
9. Cyberbulling, Privacy, Defamation, and First Amendment issues will become further intertwined and a rational legal framework will need to be created to address these matters.
10. Social Media Credential Fraud will continue to increase as more people will try to create the perception that they are experts in their professional field due to their social media activity.
To learn more about my social media law predictions you may contact me at www.shearlaw.com.
Copyright 2011 by the Law Office of Bradley S. Shear, LLC. All rights reserved.