Lawyer questions legal ethics of LinkedIn endorsements

Oh, stop with the wisecracks about lawyers and ethics

While many of the rest of us simply question the worth of LinkedIn "endorsements," lawyer/blogger Robert Ambrogi is asking whether indiscriminate use of the feature violates legal ethics ... and he's not the first to do so.


Amrbrogi writes on his LawSites blog:

An update from LinkedIn this morning indicated that a connection of mine had endorsed me as being skilled in litigation. The person who endorsed me is someone I know only through the Internet. We have never met or spoken, that I can recall. That means that the person has no first-hand knowledge of my skill in litigation. I do sometimes write about litigation-related topics, here and elsewhere, and arguably that could provide some basis for this person to decide that I am skilled in this area. But, frankly, it happens with some frequency that I receive an endorsement from someone I have never met.

That got me wondering about the ethics of these LinkedIn endorsements. Under ABA Model Rule 7.1, a lawyer is not to make any false or misleading claims about his or her services. If a lawyer permits an endorsement to remain on the lawyer's LinkedIn profile that the lawyer knows to be misleading, even if someone else posted the endorsement, that would seem to be a problem under Rule 7.1.

That would seem to depend of which lawyer you ask. Ambrogi has rounded up a variety of opinions on the matter and they do differ.

(Will entering your ATM PIN in reverse summon the police?)

Ambrogi himself does not equivocate: He believes that an unjustifiable endorsement knowingly left on a lawyer's LinkedIn profile would run afoul of Rule 7.1.

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