At its meeting on October 25, 2018, the Ethics Committee voted to send Proposed 2018 Formal Ethics Opinion 5, Accessing Social Network Presence of Represented or Unrepresented Persons, to the State Bar Council for adoption. However, at its meeting on October 26, 2018, the council voted not to adopt Proposed 2018 Formal Ethics Opinion 5. The inquiry will be reconsidered by the Ethics Committee at its next regularly scheduled meeting in January 2019. Additionally, at its October 26 meeting, the State Bar Council adopted the ethics opinion summarized below:
2018 Formal Ethics Opinion 7
Online Review Solicitation Service
Opinion explains that, subject to certain conditions, a lawyer may participate in an online service for soliciting client reviews that collects and posts positive reviews to increase the lawyer’s ranking on internet search engines.
Ethics Committee Actions
At its meeting on October 25, 2018, the Ethics Committee sent Proposed 2018 Formal Ethics Opinion 8, Advertising Membership in Marketing Company with Misleading Title, back to subcommittee for further study based upon comments received about the proposed opinion during the prior quarter. The committee also received reports from two subcommittees created to study inquiries concerning ex parte communications and concerning Bitcoin and other cryptocurrency. Lastly, the committee received three new inquiries: one concerning ERISA plans, one concerning a lawyer’s ability to act as an intermediary between amicable but opposing parties in a domestic dispute, and one concerning intimate relationships between opposing counsel. All three inquiries were sent to subcommittee for further study.