What's in a DOUBLE TAP? | Social Media and Lawyers

As mentioned in my last post, I’m in the process of establishing a law firm, a virtual office in DC where I would provide legal services that are predominantly transactional. Think drafting, reviewing, negotiating contracts and agreements. That might include drafting operating agreements for a limited liability company, negotiating consignment agreements for visual artists, or advising on non-disclosure agreements for a non-profit for the purpose of defining liability for volunteers. Writing is just what I do.

Furthermore, I’m interested in assisting small to mid-sized businesses with business entity formation, updating annual filings to ensure entity compliance with filing jurisdiction, and—with my favorite—trademark filings.

Fun, legal times are ahead!

In preparation, I’ve been reading opinions on Professional Responsibility Rules in search of how lawyers should behave on social media with (potential) clients, jurors, represented adverse parties, and unrepresented parties. It’s particularly nuanced right down to the double-tap.

It is unlawful for an attorney to communicate with a represented party, an individual being represented by another attorney, whether adverse party or witness. DC Ethics Opinion 371 explicitly describes how a friend request to a represented party amounts to a violation as the tap itself prompts communication, for you are, the lawyer, asking the represented party for something.

In doing a close reading on this and thinking of crafty scenarios, I’m compelled to ask: “Have you ever double/single-tapped content on accident?” I have once or twice before … on pictures of a stranger … no solicitation for legal services … but maybe I looked too long or tried to enlarge the picture. And without much effort, I inadvertently tapped, and the heart reddened. It’s a “like!” But it happened. And it’s too awkward to untap to unlike the picture after liking the picture, so of course, I just leave and forget about it. Lots of overthinking here. I know. But I’m not the only one. You’ve done it too.

Can you imagine explaining before the Bar and Superior Court how you inadvertently, double-tapped requesting the represented party to be your friend on social media? The Rules of Professional Conduct demands charges every lawyer to perform zealously, to investigate, to do her due diligence. It’s actually encouraged to review a represented party’s social media page when that party is opposing or a witness in the pending matter.

An attorney just can’t tap anything. Ewwww … Can you imagine being prompted to review a represented, adverse party’s social media page to see if he is letting off steam after a long day of trial and having to be so careful to review his page without double-tapping? You must have hands of a surgeon! I’m obviously making fun of a serious matter especially when the article does not describe the possible communication in double-tapping (however, accidentally) for a like.

What is in a like? What is in a double-tap? Are we communicating to one another in liking?! Of course we are. This Opinion does not explore the communication that is double-tapping and probably for good reason. There’s a debatable gray area. But I wonder if the accidental double-tapping of an adverse, represented party’s picture is analogous to making a friend request. Thoughts?

Furthermore, one can argue that double-tapping and making a friend request are not analogous because in making a friend request, a lawyer is asking to see a represented party’s social media page and all of its content that is protected by privacy settings; hence, the friend request. The friend request button is typically on another page or in a different corner, a distance away from the party’s pictures. And so by placement alone, it would be difficult for a lawyer to argue that he inadvertently made a friend request since the button stands alone on a separate page. It would have happened with intent, to eliminate the protective wall that a privacy setting provides in order to review content. And this is unethical.

And, on the other hand, double-tapping is simply a like to a user’s content. But it’s all communication, right?!

There’s so much pressure in a TAP!

This does not create an attorney-client relationship, and this is not to be construed as legal advice.

About Last Night: Factory Cafe @ AvidXchange Music Factory

No hangover!!

You know your Saturday rises from the horizon when you wake up without a hangover. I wasn’t worried though. Last night, the girls and I gathered at a one “Factory Cafe” for hookah and good vibes. We held down the “black corner” with @geebeeshookahs packing and lighting our hookah all night. Shout out to him for being a good patio host!

Furthermore, Hennessy was on special for a whopping $8. But since you all know that I’m very conscious of my calorie intake (I know! Stressful), I had gin and tonics all night, $5 each, Seagrams Wellness Drinks! No, truly … they were really well with 120 calories max per drink. To add, at most, a shot of gin is 69 calories. Do y’all care? Seagrams Extra Dry Gin (this is not an ad) did not elicit a hangover, so it’s a WIN for the kid!!

Factory’s very special deejay played all of our favorite 90s music mixed with some reggae tunes. So we danced and rapped Biggie, Junior Mafia, DMX, Dipset, and did a dirty wind to the the rhythms of “AAAACCTIIIONNN!! … Sweet!”

The atmosphere was pretty chill. The waitstaff joined in with entertainment, busting a move or two. All around, after a long asss week with Hurricane Michael, establishing a law firm in DC, and dealing with my ever-changing work schedule, Factory Cafe was just the wind down I needed.

I’ll be back.

Female Lawyers Should Say Gimme More! Negotiating Salary.

Life got hectic! 2 phone screenings within a week led me to an interview in DC. Let me tell you how it all panned out. It wasn’t good.

Just months later after discovering that I passed the bar, I was interviewed for a Real Estate Associate position (dream job) in the DMV area. I drove up from Charlotte to DC on the fifth (a week or so ago) to be interviewed by seven people. This firm arranged for me to travel to VA for my first interview which was at 4 pm and to a second interview in MD at 6. I was on time for both … even with all of the traffic in DC. My God! How does anyone get anywhere on time … consistently?!

In this position, I would cover foreclosures, litigating when necessary, and in court twice a week for filings. I would also do a host of other things like title searches, closings, oversee legal support staff and much more. I would be required to work 50 hours a week.

I didn’t head back to Charlotte until 8:30/9 pm, just after the managing partner discussed a salary of $50k. Whaaaaatt?!! Who could live in the DMV area on $50k? Like that’s insane. I’d be poverty stricken without the help of a roommate or a life mate. Honestly, after negotiations, the firm failed to budge and increase its offer. And $50k is hardly the average salary for first-year associates or even real estate associates.

I explained to them that I’d have to move short notice (2 weeks or less), front my own relocation expenses to move to a land far away from friends and family to practice law, and I would just need more to survive without any assistance. Besides, I attempted to convince them that their money would be well-spent, and that what was being offered was not the average salary for this position. This firm knew that. Make what you will of it. Some folks are willing to bear and grin it for new opportunities, and I would too for more money or additional time for entrepreneurial ventures. Work me to death, but pay me … in the event of death! Harshly put. I know. But that’s reality.

I already know what it’s like to have a tight budget and to be under extraordinary stress while doing so. Mental breakdowns will ensue!

When women accept low pay, they start behind the curve in building wealth for themselves and their families. They also tend, consequently, to settle for situations/arrangements that they would not particularly agree to had they negotiated better, possessed self worth and acknowledged better options.

Here are the reported salaries for Real Estate Attorneys in DC with $54k being the lowest. Compliments of Glassdoor.

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Additionally, the rates for suicide, depression, and drug and alcohol abuse are highest amongst lawyers. It’s best to just go into business for yourself, so that you can take all the risks and profit.

Going forward; entrepreneurship.

Pave the way. Light the path. Create your own lane. Stick to the plan (self-reminder).

Til next time … Self-love.