ABA Issues New Guidance For Responses To Online Criticism

The American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility (“Committee”) recommends lawyers avoid responding to negative online reviews “because doing so may draw more attention to it and invite further response from an already unhappy critic,” Formal Opinion 496 said.

If an attorney feels compelled to respond, however, the Committee reminds the legal community that attorneys have ethical obligations with regard to confidential information and a negative online review alone, does not allow a lawyer to provide confidential information as a defense.  The lawyer should instead consider requesting that the website remove the post or inviting the poster to contact the attorney to discuss the matter privately.

Visit https://www.americanbar.org/content/dam/aba/administrative/professional_responsibility/aba-formal-opinion-496.pdf to read the full opinion.