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Facebook's Fine Print: Trouble for Lawyers?

Picking up on the growing popularity among lawyers of Facebook as a marketing tool, Brian J. Ritchey at the blog More Partner Income issues a caution. He points to an article this week in Britain's The Birmingham Post warning that Facebook could prove to be a minefield for businesses. The source of that warning is U.K. law firm Manby Steward Bowdler, as the Post explains:

Neil Forrest of Manbys says many businesses are unaware Facebook is for personal profiles and not for businesses and highlights the phrase in Facebook's terms and conditions 'you have properly gained access solely for your personal, non-commercial use.'

He also points out that every user agrees not to register for more than one user account, not to register a user account on behalf of another, or register a user account on behalf of any group or entity.

At More Partner Income, Ritchey notes that legal-marketing professionals such as Kevin O'Keefe, Larry Bodine and Joshua Fruchter have recently extolled the virtues of Facebook for lawyers. (I'll confess: All the buzz prompted me to sign up.) But lawyers should be careful how they use it, he suggests. As long as their purpose is to network rather than to market, they are probably OK, he believes. But lawyers who plan to use Facebook, he adds, should make sure they adhere to its terms and conditions.

Posted by Robert J. Ambrogi on February 21, 2008 at 12:33 PM | Permalink | Comments (2)


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