The Review Announces 2012-13 Academic Symposium — “Social Media & the Law”

On February 15 and 16, 2013, the University of Miami Law Review will host its annual academic symposium. This year, the symposium will hone in on the evolving legal responses to new challenges raised by social media. Our symposium will approach this expansive subject through panel discussions featuring leading academics, practitioners, and judges, as well as two key note addresses, the first from Law Without Walls co-founders Michael Bossone and Michelle DeStefano, and the second from John Browning, the author of the first social media textbook.

First, a panel will examine the so-called “digital afterlife,” focusing on the fate of digital property after its owner’s death or incapacitation. Some create legacy pages on Facebook for a lost loved one. Some businesses’ Twitter accounts were created in the name of a deceased owner. Who can access this digital property? Can an owner determine its fate before he dies? 

Second, a panel featuring disability rights lawyers and an FCC regulator will discuss accessbiility to social media for the disabled. We often think of the Internet as a tool for expansion and connectivity, opening limitless avenues for its users. But for individuals with disabilities, the Internet can be woefully inaccessible. Our accessibility panel will illuminate this often-overlooked aspect of media outlets that most of us take for granted.

Third, a panel will examine the often tricky interaction of social media as it pertains to lawyer/ judge relationships.  In this paenl,  members and chairs of Florida ethics committees will join Southern District of Florida Magistrate Judge James Hopkins, University of Miami School of Law ethics expert Jan Jacobowitz to discuss how to navigate a potentially conflict-riddled minefield. Is it acceptable for lawyers and judges to be friends on Facebook? If a client communicates with a lawyer through social media, what effects do user licensing agreements have on the attorney-client privilege? 

Finally, our intellectual property panel will focus on SOPA and PIPA and copyright infringement issues in the social media context. The crux of the debate will focus on how people are reposting copyrighted information on sites such as Pinterest without properly attributing the source. This discussion embraces the issues of monitoring and policing the infringement, and examines the perspective of those whose content is being infringed and what potential remedies they may have.

The full list of panelists and speakers is as follows:

Keynote Speakers

Michael Bossone and Michele DeStefano
John Browning

Panels

Will You Have a Digital Afterlife?:

1. Christina Kunz
2. James Lamm
3. Michael McGuire
4. Damien Riehl

Is the Web Accessible?:

1. Robert Fine
2. Matthew Dietz
3. Eliot Greenwald 

Intellectual Property:

1. Judge Edward Damich
2. Ralph Oman
3. Mike Carroll
4. David Fegundes

Should Judges and Lawyers Be Friends (On Facebook)?:
1. Judge James Hopkins
2. Pat Lowry
3. Jan Jacobowitz
4. Carolyn Bell

More information about the symposium will be posted soon.

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