While lawyers are typically slow to adopt any new technology, there is a peculiar love affair between lawyers and Twitter. “New” by the way is a relative term. Twitter’s been around since 2006. How many people had heard of it before 2008? Hmm?
Even on this site, we’ve found ourselves blogging about Twitter (seems like it should be the other way around). Admittedly, even this writer has put fingertips to keyboard to crank out an article, Internet Social Networking Sites for Lawyers. But, as Twitter explodes into the mainstream, it’s getting a little overdone. So recognizing we’re a bit bogged down with Twitter-oversaturation, let’s turn our weary eye to… one more article on the darn thing.
The New York Bar chimed in with this piece, Look Who’s Talking: Legal Implications of Twitter Social Networking Technology. Fortunately, it is not the usual lawyer-handwringing over how internet technology is going to affect discovery. That said, everything stated in the article applies to non-digital communications. If lawyers just took a step back and made the critical assessment that “watch what you say” applies at all times, there would be no need for these kinds of articles. However, in fairness, since lawyers still are slow technology adopters, perhaps this article is a good, broad introduction. Our apologies to the author for our beleaguered tone, we’re just oversaturated with Twitter.
We do give the author credit for raising the question of whether Twitter implicates the Electronically Stored Information provisions of the 2006 Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (“e-discovery” rules). Unfortunately, the point is made in a hit and run fashion and there is no legal nor technical analysis of how it could be tracked/stored. Then again, Twitter as an entity lacks a business model and, until recently, lacked a solid search engine. Moreover, techies use Twitter in varying platforms (not just smart phones, but suites of software) and that within itself is getting complex.