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Brooklyn Bar Association covers Internet ethics at CLE session

January 22, 2016 By Rob Abruzzese Brooklyn Daily Eagle
At the Brooklyn Bar Association's latest CLE class, attorney Andrew Cabasso covered ethics of the Internet and what attorneys need to know. Pictured from left: Andrew Cabasso; Greg DeFreitas-Lee, Josephine Bruzzese and Deena Sattaur of Investors Bank; Daniel Antonelli and Amber Evans. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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It’s vital for lawyers to have a web presence these days — anything from a personal website to a Facebook or LinkedIn page will do — but unless they’ve graduated from law school in the last few years, their knowledge of appropriate Internet use today may be lacking.

In order to help practicing attorneys avoid any pitfalls on the Internet, the Brooklyn Bar Association (BBA) invited Andrew Cabasso to host a Continuing Legal Education (CLE) seminar called “Ethics, Social Media, Websites & Online Advertising: What Attorneys Need to Know,” in Brooklyn Heights on Wednesday.

“It’s an overview of the main things attorneys should know when looking to develop their practice online,” Cabasso said. “We cover everything from getting your own domain-specific email accounts [to] ethical considerations of email, for example, how to avoid scams that are targeted at lawyers, social media and ethical considerations.”

Cabasso is an attorney and co-founder of JurisPage, an Internet marketing agency that focuses on helping small law firms with their online needs. During his presentation, he covered a wide array of issues, including what lawyers can and cannot say on their firm’s website, best email practices, social media dos and don’ts, as well as other issues.

“We asked Andrew to come here for this lecture because he’s the expert,” said Dan Antonelli, co-chair of the BBA’s Computer Technology Committee, which co-sponsored the CLE along with Investors Bank. “Andrew handles all of my website marketing and advertising. He does my website and also does the marketing associated with it.”

Many lawyers came with questions for Cabasso because, as he pointed out, this is a topic that has only recently been included in law school education.

“The biggest reason they come is the free food,” Cabasso joked. “But seriously … the technology developing around the Internet is much more recent compared to when most lawyers here went to law school.

“In law school, people never talked about building your website or ethical concerns about social media. Now that these are so common place and every lawyer’s client has Facebook and Linkedin, you have to know how to use the technology and the ethics around it.”

During his speech, Cabasso used relevant cases in which lawyers have been punished for issues involving their website to prove a point that this information is important and that overlooking it can cause a lawyer to be suspended or even disbarred.

The BBA will host its next CLE session on Monday, Jan. 25, when Kevin Dwarka will give his lecture titled “The Sky and the City: Development Rights in NYC.” Check for more information on that and other upcoming CLE meetings.

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