Leonen urges young lawyers to be mindful of their ‘selfies’

December 14, 2022 Hector Lawas 267 views

SENIOR Supreme Court Associate Justice Marvic Leonen on Wednesday called on lawyers, especially the “millennials” to refrain from posting on social media their selfies with pleadings and other submissions they have just filed in courts.

Leonen issued the statement after noting that some lawyers have been posting on social media their selfies brandishing court documents, screen grabs of SMS (short messaging service), or texts from clients expressing gratitude for their legal services, among others.

He warned that lawyers may be violating the “attorney-client privilege” protecting the confidentiality between them.

Leonen said, “May napapansin lang kami sa mga younger lawyers. Yung mga mahilig sa selfies. Okay lang naman na mag selfie kayo. But lately we have been noticing that a lawyer would post a letter from a client na tuwang-tuwa sa kanya. Or mag post ng pleading na nai-file na.”

“Maybe mga batang abogado ito. Mga excited kasi sila. Pero bawal ‘yan kasi may attorney-client privilege tayo. Absolutely prohibited by our canons that a lawyer posts any communication from a client including SMS na nagpapasalamat including the legal fees,” Leonen stressed.

Leonen pointed out that these kinds of social media posts might expose young lawyers to an actionable offense, most specifically, a disbarment case.

“Kailangan we preserve the confidentiality between [our clients and us.] You’re actually opening to third parties your communications and that’s actionable. And sooner or later, baka may isa or dalawang mag-file ng disbarment case because they violated their attorney-client privilege,” he said.