A New York Times article published on October 31, 2016, discussing access to and ownership of electronic data published today was certainly interesting. It was all the more interesting later today when I learned that two lawyers had “popped up” on the Facebook feed of one of my clients. I was shocked to note that both lawyers represented her husband—one in her personal protection action that recently resulted in a year-long restraining order and one who represents her husband in the now-pending divorce action.
There are many concerns about use of data stored on computers. I confess, there were a few concerns I had not even thought about. The article is: Bromwich, Jonah and Victor, Daniel, In a Divorce, Who Gets Custody of Electronic Data? The Lawyers, New York Times, October 31, 2016. [Accessed on November 3, 2016]
See, for example, this article that discusses using Facebook to gain access to private information: Gentert, Tom, "Facebook 'friending' has ethical implications for lawyers," Jackson County Legal News, Sept. 13, 2012 [Accessed November 3, 2016] Although I found no Michigan ethics opinions that were directly on point, it is clear that direct or indirect contact with a represented party violates the Model Rules of Professional Responsibility. A PDF of a short PowerPoint explains this: Cavo, Litchfield, "The Ethics Surrounding the Use of Facebook by Opposing Counsel," accessed November 3, 2016.