Upcoming Webinar: Ethical Risks of Law Firm Websites and Blogs

The first CLE presentation I ever gave on law firm websites, including the ethical questions raised by their use, was more than ten years ago. In part, that’s why I’m very much looking forward to being part of a stellar panel for an upcoming webinar on May 29 about ethical issues raised by the ways lawyers use the Internet. I don’t know that I’ve ever seen a presentation on this topic with as many years of actual web-related experience as you’ll find on this panel, given that my co-presenters are Kevin O’Keefe and Ben Cowgill.
We’ve split up the topic and plan to allow for plenty of Q & A. I’m covering ethical issues for law firm websites. Please feel free to let me know about the questions and issues you have on this topic in the comments and I’ll try to incorporate that into my coverage. I’m planning to take a historical approach and talk about the evolution of legal ethics and the web from those first days when there were only a few law firm websites, a handful of articles on the topic, and no search engines as we now know them.
Here’s an excerpt from the program description and registration information can be found here.

Sponsored by the Legal Publishing Group of Strafford Publications
Tuesday May 29, 2007
1:00pm – 2:30pm Eastern
Early Discount Deadline, May 11
CLE available for an additional fee
Websites, the Internet and email are the preferred communication and marketing tool for attorneys and law firms, and blogs are a popular way for attorneys to exchange ideas and educate clients. However, there are serious ethical risks for attorneys who use these online communications with clients and potential clients.
Sites and blogs that enable users to email attorneys directly increase ethical concerns. And yet, there are few guidelines for attorneys by the courts and state bar associations.
Do the standard ethical rules regarding lawyer advertising apply? If law blogs are defined as political speech, can states still regulate them as commercial speech?
Listen and participate from your office telephone as our authoritative panel discusses the regulatory future and ethical guidelines for communicating with clients and prospective client via websites and blogs. The panel will feature:
The panel includes:
Benjamin Cowgill, Counselor and Attorney at Law, Lexington, Kentucky, focuses his career in the field of legal ethics. He is the former Chief Bar Counsel for the Kentucky Bar Association and a well-known presenter of CLE programs on various aspects of law office technology, including ethical considerations.
Dennis Kennedy, computer lawyer and technology expert, DennisKennedy.com, LLC, St. Louis, is a well-known consultant, speaker and writer who is considered among the most influential experts on the application of technology in the practice of law. He serves businesses implementing information technology and e-commerce initiatives.
Kevin O’Keefe, president and founder of LexBlog, Bainbridge Island, Washington, is the leading provider of marketing blogs for lawyers. He was a trial lawyer for 17 years, during which he successfully marketed his law firm on the Internet.
The panel will review these and other key questions:
* How can attorneys protect clients’ privacy rights and attorney-client privilege in online communications?
* What are some of the key ethical concerns for attorneys who use websites and blogs to communicate with clients and prospective clients?
* How are the courts and state bar associations currently handling charges of ethics violations involving attorney use of the Internet and email?
Following the speaker presentations, you’ll have an opportunity to get answers to your specific questions during the interactive Q&A session.
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Thanks to Strafford Publications for putting this one together. It’s a great opportunit to pick up some ethics CLEcredit.

Register for the webinar here
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[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (http://www.denniskennedy.com/blog/)]
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