I recently became aware of this opinion of the Ohio Board of Professional Conduct regarding “Client Testimonials in Lawyer Advertising and Online Services” It suggests that lawyers have an obligation to monitor testimonials they publish or allow to be published in social media, which would seem to include endorsements on LinkedIn. In relevant part:
A lawyer may place information about his or her services on a website or online
legal directory. This information is a form of advertisement that a lawyer must ensure
complies with Prof.Cond.R. 7.1 and 7.2. A variety of websites, online legal directories,
and social media permit clients and others to endorse or post a review about a lawyer. A
client typically provides a review on his or her own volition and waives the attorneyclient
privilege as to any information revealed in the review or comment. A lawyer with
an online presence, who is able to control the content of his or her online profile, should
periodically monitor the content of the profile to ensure the communications about the
lawyer or the lawyer’s services comply with Prof.Cond.R. 7.1. False, misleading, or
nonverified testimonials in the form of client comments or endorsements should be
removed by the lawyer when he or she has control over the content of the profile. See
Penn. Adv. Op 2014-300 (2014). Emphasis added.
I have never paid a great deal of attention to my endorsements on LinkedIn, and I worry more about complying with New York law than that of Ohio, but this opinion motivated me to look at my LinkedIn profile and endorsements just now, to see if anything could be thought of as misleading. OK, I don’t do patent prosecution so I deleted those endorsements. ‘Patents’ is a skill of mine if by skill you mean do I have world-class patent partners. One or two endorsements are from people I’ve never worked with (I did not see a method of deleting a specific endorsement). To paraphrase a joke “I love your lawyering, I heard it was great.”
Its always something.