Share Print Page

Contacts

Social Media

Related Practices

Rankings & Honors

  • Recognized by U.S. News-Best Lawyers 2016 as a national Tier 1 leader for Employment Law—Management, Labor Law—Management, and Litigation—Labor & Employment
  • Employment attorneys ranked as leading lawyers in their fields by Chambers USA/Global
  • Ranked by Law360 as an Employment 100 firm
  • National and metropolitan honors from publications like Best Lawyers in America, Super Lawyers, Martindale-Hubbell, and other directories and publications
 

SOCIAL MEDIA

Social media has changed the way businesses operate today—opening doors to new and exciting opportunities while also presenting unforeseen risks. We help close the divide between technology and the law, providing insights for managing your business in a social world.

Our approach

Most businesses today have an online presence and are active on platforms like Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Facebook. New applications come into the mix each day. This new technology, coupled with outdated laws, exposes businesses to legal issues involving trade secrets, data privacy, employees, export controls and intellectual property, to name a few.

As businesses expand their use of technology and social strategies, questions abound:

  • Is your intellectual property protected?
  • What will you do if your data is compromised?
  • What are your legal obligations for notification of a disclosure of personal information over social media?
  • Do you have policies in place that set guidelines for employee use of social media?
  • Who owns and has access to your social media account information?
  • How do you safely exchange information in virtual settings and across borders?

We’re charting the course in this evolving space, clearing a path to keep legal issues from standing in the way of using social media to increase visibility and grow your business.

Labor and Employment—We draft social media policies, counsel employers on how best to handle problems relating to employee use of social media and train employees—including management and human resources—on their employer’s social media policies and practices. We stay apprised of NLRB opinions in this rapidly changing area and keep our clients’ policies current.

Intellectual Property—We protect intellectual property—including domain names, trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets—from unauthorized use and help clients to develop strategies for best protecting their brands on the Internet.

Data Privacy and Security—We help companies safeguard their information against data breach, mitigate in the event of a data breach, provide advice on incorporating privacy and risk-management policies for social media and in mobile and web media applications, equip employers with “BYOD” policies and advise on issues like what to do if proprietary or confidential information on an employee’s (or potential employee’s) social media profile is discovered.

Export Controls—We work with clients on the issue of creating, sharing or exchanging information and ideas in virtual communities and networks across national borders and departments, where the information being exchanged is subject to U.S. export control laws and substantial penalties for violations.

E-Discovery—We provide discovery and litigation technology services to resolve disputes regarding ownership of digital information—like social media accounts—and who has ownership rights. We also have experience mining social media accounts for crucial digital evidence.  

SEC Compliance—We provide guidance regarding the use of social media communications in conjunction with business transactions.

Digital Assets—We provide guidance on the Model Fiduciary Access to Digital Assets Act and state laws governing access to social media accounts upon death.

Who we work with

  • Public and private companies, and for profit and nonprofit organizations, across all industries
  • Service providers who utilize technology and the internet for internal or external investigations
  • Companies developing and selling social media products and services
  • PR and crisis planning agencies who respond to social media disasters

Recent experience

  • Crafting social media policies for employers that address:
    • the use of social media in the hiring and termination process,
    • employee use of social media as it relates to and impacts the employer and its brand and
    • employee management of and engagement with the company’s external social media presence (e.g., a company’s own Facebook and Twitter pages).
  • Guiding clients through the decision-making process for disciplining employees who misuse social media in a way that impacts the company’s brand.
  • Advising clients on how to properly protect their IP from unauthorized uses on social media, in addition to advising on proper use of brands in accord with relevant laws.
  • Advising technology companies on compliance for certain features in new products, apps, social communication platforms or services.
  • Helping clients resolve domain name disputes through the Uniform Domain Name Dispute Resolution Policy.
  • Counselling clients on complying with existing and emerging statutory, regulatory and case law guidance on social media, including the Genetic Information and Nondiscrimination Act, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority regulations, SEC guidance, FDA regulations, the growing body of guidance on the access to and use of social media from the National Labor Relations Board, the Access to Digital Assets Act, and federal and state privacy rights laws.
  • Representing clients regarding unauthorized use of trademarks, copyrights and trade secrets—such as infringing content or usernames—on social media.
  • Drafting discovery requests in litigation specifically regarding access to information from individuals’ social media accounts.
  • Representing media entities that use blogs, webpages, Twitter, Facebook and other social media platforms, on issues surrounding republication and editing of content.
  • Representing clients with regards to advertising claims and digital endorsers via social media and blogs.
  • Defending a client in employment litigation case involving issues relating to the ownership of social media accounts and related issues such as forensic recovery of passwords.
  • Defended a franchisee in four separate actions concerning allegations of sexual harassment involving social media discovery.
  • Assisted a quickly growing social media startup company in connection with privacy and alcohol-beverage risk-management issues.
  • Developed numerous website and mobile app Privacy Policies and Terms and Conditions of Use that are compliant with state and federal laws.
  • Multiple data breaches through social media accounts and websites.

Media Clips

  • Do anonymous social media apps create Title IX violations on college campuses?
    ABA Journal | April 1, 2016
    Washington, DC, partner Michael Cooney is featured in this piece that looks at legal headaches for colleges caused by anonymous social media apps.
  • Shaq Must Defend Lawsuit After Posting Insulting Tweet
    Bloomberg BNA Social Media Law & Policy Report | January 20, 2016
    Providence Commercial Litigation counsel Steven Richard is quoted in this article about how the right of publicity affects social media use.
  • Using Social Media to Disqualify Job Candidates is Risky 
    Chicago Tribune | January 11, 2016
    Chicago Labor & Employment partner Brian Alcala provides third-party commentary in this article about employers’ use of social media to evaluate job candidates.
  • . . . View all . . .
  • Social Media in the Hiring Process
    Practical Law | December 1, 2015
    Labor & Employment partner Jeff Gilbreth and associate Joe Carello discuss a number of issues facing employers that access and use social media in the hiring process.
  • Laws Try to Resolve Employer-Employee Social Media Conflicts
    Wall Street Journal | May 28, 2015
    Providence Commercial Litigation counsel Steven Richard is quoted in this article discussing how state laws on social media are impacting employer-employee relations in the absence of an overarching federal law.
  • What You Know Can Hurt You
    Long Island Business News | June 13, 2014
    Long Island Labor & Employment partner Chris Gegwich provides commentary on discrimination charges employers could face monitoring and/or researching employees through social media.
  • Watch Those Tweets: The EEOC Looks at Social Media
    Wall Street Journal At Work Blog | March 18, 2014
    This article quotes San Francisco Labor & Employment associate Renée Jackson, who was among the featured panelists in an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission hearing in Washington, DC, focused on the use of social media in the workplace.

Ideas

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | September 2, 2016

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | May 27, 2016

. . . View all . . .

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | May 13, 2016

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | April 22, 2016

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | April 15, 2016

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | April 1, 2016

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | March 18, 2016

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | March 4, 2016

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | February 19, 2016

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | February 5, 2016

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | January 8, 2016

Is your company's website violating the ADA?
Litigation Alert | December 21, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | December 18, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Parnter | December 4, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | November 25, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | November 20, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | November 13, 2015

Do colleges and universities have an obligation to investigate anonymous harassment via social media?
Higher Education Law Alert | November 9, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | October 30, 2015

The Second Circuit "likes" the NLRB's triple play decision
Employment Law Alert | October 26, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | October 23, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Private Partner | October 16, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | October 9, 2015

#NoExpulsion: Kansas court rules that university cannot expel student for sexually harassing tweets
Higher Education Alert | October 7, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | October 2, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | September 25, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
September 18, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | September 11, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | September 3, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | August 28, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | August 21, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | August 14, 2015

Facebook cannot challenge search warrants for online data
Electronic Discovery and Evidence Alert | July 31, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | July 24, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | July 17, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | July 10, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | July 2, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | June 26, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | June 19, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | June 12, 2015

Supreme Court avoids First Amendment issues in its ruling addressing threatening Facebook posts
Social Media Alert | June 2, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | May 29, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | May 8, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | May 1, 2015

NLRB protects vulgar workplace Facebook rant, reinstates fired employee
Employment Law Alert | April 6, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | March 20, 2015

New York federal court blocks proposal to post legal notice on social media
Employment Law Alert | March 18, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | March 13, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | March 6, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | February 27, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | February 20, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | February 13, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | February 6, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | January 30, 2015

Labor & employment 2015 crystal ball
Employment Law Alert | January 29, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | January 23, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | January 16, 2015

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | December 19, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | December 12, 2014

Former employee's posting of new job and touting of new employer's website on LinkedIn does not violate restrictive covenants
Social Media Law Alert | December 9, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | November 26, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | November 14, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | November 7, 2014

National Labor Relations Board okays a "Facebook firing"
Employment Law Alert | November 6, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | October 31, 2014

Do courts like the service of legal process via social media?
Social Media Law Alert | October 22, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | October 17, 2014

Webinar Recording: Tech Talk 101: are you fluent in the language of data security?
Originally recorded October 8, 2014 | October 14, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | October 10, 2014

The Second Circuit speaks: accessing a social media web page is not enough to authenticate it
Electronic Discovery and Evidence Alert | October 7, 2014

Instant messages as evidence: questions of authenticity and admissibility addressed in Massachusetts Appeals Court ruling
Electronic Discovery and Evidence Alert | October 3, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | October 3, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | September 26, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | September 19, 2014

Trying to unmask and sue the anonymous social media speaker
Social Media Law Alert | September 17, 2014

What's trending on NP Privacy Partner
NP Privacy Partner | September 12, 2014

Whose "likes" are they?
Social Media Law Alert | September 3, 2014

The NLRB sends a clear message to employers — think twice before striking back at employee social media comments
Social Media Law Alert | September 2, 2014

Labor Day reflections on labor law and the labor movement
Employment Law Alert | August 29, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | July 3, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | June 13, 2014

What's trending in data privacy & security
Privacy Alert | April 25, 2014

Self-destructing text messages for business professionals? There's an app for that.
Employment Alert | February 4, 2014

Our Top Five Riskiest Data Security Activities
October 8, 2013

. . . Hide Thought Leadership. . .

Press

Events

Employee Privacy & Social Media