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Miami Law Students Present Training on Social Media and E-Discovery

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Sarah Laputz, Ben Carter and Courtney Daniels.

Miami Law students Sarah Laputz, Ben Carter and Courtney Daniels. (Photo: Miami Law) Full-Size Photo

The students in Miami Law's Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program (PREP) recently presented a CLE ethics training for the attorneys at White & Case. Under the supervision of Director Jan L. Jacobowitz, Fellow, Ben Carter and Interns, Sarah Laputz, and Courtney Daniels, addressed the impact of social media and e-discovery on the attorney-client relationship and litigation.

The students developed a hypothetical scenario to discuss the ethical implications of using social media to investigate witnesses, the obligations to preserve electronic communications, including Facebook pages, and attorneys' options available after learning about a client's misconduct.

Reflecting on the training, Daniels commented, "It was an amazing experience not only to research the ways in which social media can be ethically utilized in litigation, but also to share with the attorneys the ethical pit falls that have entrapped other attorneys."

Carter commented that "It was fascinating to see how the academic perspective we have as students and real-world views of the practicing attorneys interact in the context of the hypothetical. While we may not agree on every issue raised in the discussion, the open and collegial nature of the discourse ensures that everyone benefits from the experience."

Finally, Laputz observed that, "Due to the large scope of the firm's work, the attendees had a very diverse set of legal backgrounds. Although the hypothetical was based in the context of environmental law, I gained a better understanding of how lawyers apply the same ethics rules to a variety of legal fields."

The Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program was established in 1996 as an in-house program within the Center for Ethics and Public Service at the University of Miami School of Law. The program develops and presents continuing legal education (CLE) ethics training for the South Florida legal community and has dedicated countless student hours to public service and has educated thousands of members of the Florida Bench and Bar. The experience serves as a great opportunity for students to learn about cutting edge ethical issues and through their presentations affect the views and policies of individuals within the legal community.