Social Media and Legal Advice Don’t Always Go Together

One of the most confusing aspects of the growth of Social Media, is the spurt of ‘legal experts’ who will tell you all you never needed to know about the Law. Social media and legal advice can be a toxic cocktail. As a practicing NJ criminal defense lawyer, who has been involved with the area of criminal law for 40-years as a police officer, an assistant county prosecutor, and a criminal defense lawyer – there is seldom a social media legal post that ‘advises’ someone charged with a crime that comes even close to what the legal issues, options or outcomes are. social media and legal adviceThose that are actually written by lawyers, are the exception – so long as the lawyer sticks to the law and not his or her personal opinion of what should happen. The law is a changing beast; there are frequently new rules, laws, procedures and sometimes new sets of facts that impact outcomes. From the time I am retained to the time the case is concluded (whether that is measured in months or years) I inform my client that I will not guarantee an outcome because there are too may variables – after which I tell them the possible alternatives as they appear at that time and let them chose what legal strategy they want me to pursue. As one lawyer-writer recently put it ‘Please do not confuse your on-line ‘legal research’ or the opinion of the Social Media legal gurus with my law degree’ – unless of course you are willing to risk your rights and freedom on that research.

Howard W. Bailey, Esq.
550 Broad Street, Suite 601
Newark, NJ 07102

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