Tag Archives: State Bar of California


Disclaimer:  This is a State Bar of California Opinion, and I’m Vice-Chair of the Council of California State Bar Sections (CSBS).  I want to remind you, “This blog site is published by and reflects the personal views of Perry L. Segal, in his individual capacity.  Any views expressed herein have not been adopted by the State Bar of California’s Board of Trustees or overall membership, nor are they to be construed as representing the position of the State Bar of California.”

To put it simply, the premise of CAL 2016-196 is to address when:  1) A blog post becomes a “communication”, as defined under the RPC and the State Bar Act, and 2) If it is deemed a communication, is it “attorney advertising”?

First of all, what constitutes a blog (or, as I prefer to call legal blogs, a “blawg”)?  Hmmm.  Well, if you call it a blawg, that’s probably a big hint that it’ll be legal in nature, but that’s not really what I’m getting at here.  Are your scribbles on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram “blogging”, for the purposes of this opinion?

You bet (if those scribbles are legal in nature and/or purport to advertise your services).  You may not be aware of it, but products like Twitter are referred to as “micro-blogs”.

I think the continuing problem with a lot of these opinions is that they cause people to lose their minds worrying about them as if they’re something new.  The reality is, technically, a blog post is no different than if it were an article in a magazine that had a little blurb at the end that includes your contact information.  You’ll be subject to regulation for attorney advertising (California’s Rule of Professional Conduct, rule 1-400 – Advertising & Solicitation).

The real differences?

  • Someone has to subscribe to the magazine, receive it for free or pick it up in the dentist’s office office or a friend’s home.  However, if your blog is public, you need to understand, that means public; available to anyone, anywhere in the world at any time who has access to the internet.
  • The jurisdiction in which someone reads it may not authorize attorney blogging.

I bet many of you see where I’m going with the second point.  Could this trigger an accusation of improper advertising?  What about an in-depth article including opinion on a particular law?  Could that be unauthorized practice of law?

Yes and yes.  So what do you do?  For starters, click on the link above and read the opinion.  It’s only eight pages, and you’ll quickly see that a lot of it triggers opinions you’ve seen before, such as CAL 2012-186.  Two, disclaim, Disclaim, DISCLAIM.  Many a problem is eliminated if you simply inform your readers of your audience.

Of course, you can’t do that on Twitter.  So you might link to your disclaimer, or state briefly, “All opinions are my own.”

Oh, and there’s this last bugaboo:  You must be able to reproduce each and every post you’ve made for the past two years (while you’re gasping, keep in mind, it’s three years in New York).


Calbar 89th Annl Mtg

Another conference, another post!

We’re over ten weeks out from the State Bar of California’s 89th Annual Meeting in San Diego.  Bookmark this link to stay up-to-date about hotels, registration, events and programs.

I know what you’re thinking:  Where’s my usual sneak peek at the latest info?  Well, here’s info on my program, presented with my LPMT colleague, Jeff Bennion:

Everything Attorneys Ever Wanted to Know About the Cloud (but were afraid to ask!)

Program 38:  Sept. 30 | 10:30 a.m. – 12 noon

This advanced program covers all aspects of what attorneys need to know before they place their trust and information—and that of their clients—on the cloud.  Learn about the perks and pitfalls of making use of this now-ubiquitous tool, including what State Bar ethics rules have to say.

Download LPMT’s free app for Apple and Android devices.  All of the programs will be listed on the calendar.

…So Begins My Year as Co-Vice-Chair of CSBS!

On Thursday, October 10th, I was a couple of days away from taking my place as the "Immediate Past Chair" of the Law Practice Management and Technology Section.  Instead, I was elected Co-Vice-Chair of the Council of State Bar Sections along with my good friend Mark Ressa of the Family Law Section.  It's a new, three-year commitment with the Bar!

Yes, yes…I know what you're thinking.  It has "BS" in the name…

Onward & upward!

e-Discovery California: Upcoming Presentations & Activities – May/June 2011

I thought it might be a good idea to share my presentation & conference schedule for the next couple of months…this will also explain why I haven’t had as much time to post; I have deadlines!

May 17-18th:  As mentioned prior, I’ll be attending LegalTech next week in downtown Los Angeles.  At the moment, I’m planning to attend both days.

June 1st:  I’m presenting a one-hour CLE for general credit at the Los Angeles County Bar Association Litigation Section Inn of Court, titled, “How to Lose an eDiscovery Case in 30 Days“.  The synopsis:

“The steps you take in the first 30 days leading up to the initial ‘Meet & Confer’ can make or break your case.  This program will discuss what to do before, during and after to keep you on track.”

June 24th:  I’ll be making two one-hour CLE presentations in the computer lab (.5-hour general & .5-hour ethics credit, limited to 25 people per lab) at the California Bar’s Solo and Small Firm Summit at the Anaheim Marriott, titled, “Earth, Wind, Fire, Flood & ESI: Disaster-Planning for the Law Office“.  The synopsis:

“A ‘disaster’ encompasses a lot more than you might think. The ‘physical’ office is covered; what about the ‘virtual’ office? If you suffer a catastrophic failure on Monday, can you be back in business Tuesday morning? Are there ethical issues? It’s 2 am. Do you know where your data is?”

Hey, that’s what I get for writing synopses at the last minute, late at night.  How many times do you think a tech-weenie like myself has used the line, “It’s 2 am. Do you know where your data is?”  (Answer: Too many times!!!).

I’m sure Hillary Clinton thanks me.