Sardar Law Firm

Archive for June, 2010|Monthly archive page

Doctor Patient Confidentiality… Violated

In Social Media, Technology Issues and the Law on June 2010 at 8:28 pm

Of course we all Tweet about what we do at work, about when an agitated customer/client (or agitating customer/client) makes it one of those days where you wish you were independently wealthy… But when you are in healthcare, the problem with Tweeting or updating your Facebook status with details from your workday is this: you could be violating patient confidentiality, making the hospital look bad, or badmouthing your boss without realizing that he/she can read what you write.

And if you ask a social media lawyer, they may say:  it could get you fired.

As an Employee: Employees in hospitals and other healthcare related fields need to remember that there are very rigid laws about patient privacy. If you are in a small town and Tweet the following: “Today’s 1:00 appointment was cranky because that’s what STDs do” – you could be giving away very private information about a patient, and you could be inadvertently giving away that patient’s identity.  So, keep those comments off the internet. If you should not be talking about it, you should not be Tweeting or Facebooking about it.

by: Sheheryar Sardar, Esq. & Benish Shah, Esq., Sardar Law Firm LLC

For more information on social media law, contact: Sardar Law Firm at sardar@sardarlawfirm.com.

Follow Sardar Law Firm on Twitter: http://twitter.com/sardarlawfirm

Follow Social Media Legal at:http://twitter.com/socialmedia_law


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The Laws of Energy: Protecting Your Business

In Social Media, Technology Issues and the Law on June 2010 at 1:04 am
With the BP Oil Spill all over social media, we thought this was relevent:

President Obama’s Stimulus Bill (American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub. L. No. 111-5) provides several revenue-raising proposals, including new or increased taxes targeted at the oil and gas sector, as well as energy related spending proposals. While the administration justifies these proposals on the grounds of climate change, many of the proposals appear to be at cross purposes with the goal of U.S. energy independence. This piece briefly describes these controversial taxing proposals and touches on some energy spending proposals. Congress passed a 2010 Budget Resolution on April 29, 2009 (Senate Concurrent Resolution 13). The administration issued its “Greenbook” of Budget tax proposals (entitled “General Explanations of the Administration’s Fiscal year 2010 Revenue Proposals”) on May 11, 2009. The Greenbook offers further details on the energy revenue-raising proposals, and adds one new revenue-raising proposal in the energy area.

President Obama’s Stimulus Bill (AmericanRecovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009, Pub. L.No. 111-5) provides several revenue-raisingproposals, including new or increased taxestargeted at the oil and gas sector, as well as energy related spending proposals.While the administration justifies these proposalson the grounds of climate change, many of theproposals appear to be at cross purposes with thegoal of U.S. energy independence. This pamphletbriefly describes these controversial taxingproposals and touches on some energy spendingproposals. Congress passed a 2010 BudgetResolution on April 29, 2009 (Senate ConcurrentResolution 13). The administration issued its“Greenbook” of Budget tax proposals (entitled“General Explanations of the Administration’sFiscal year 2010 Revenue Proposals”) on May 11,2009. The Greenbook offers further details on theenergy revenue-raising proposals, and adds onenew revenue-raising proposal in the energy area.

Full article on “The Laws of Energy: Protecting Your Business” is here.

by: Sheheryar Sardar, Esq., Sardar Law Firm LLC

For more information on social media law, contact: Sardar Law Firm atsardar@sardarlawfirm.com.

Follow Sardar Law Firm on Twitter:http://twitter.com/sardarlawfirm

Follow Social Media Legalat:http://twitter.com/socialmedia_lawc

BP and Social Digital Media

In Entrepreneurs and Social Media, Social Media, Technology Issues and the Law on June 2010 at 11:48 pm

Social media law is becoming more intricate and exciting – as is the use of social media.  Check out this piece from global. executive. board.

To relate social digital marketing to current news, BP’s CEO, Tony Hayward was recently criticized for taking a break from cleaning up the record-breaking oil spill to attend a yacht race. Even the fact that the public found out so quickly about Hayward’s most recent gaffe is a testament to how important social digital networking has become. Almost instantaneously, twitter and Facebook started to publicize Hayward’s  behavior in light of the horrible environmental disaster that BP has caused.

In reality, Hayward attending a yacht race has little to do with the progress of the massive clean-up effort. Perhaps a few years ago, a break to see a boat race probably would have gone unnoticed to the public. Executives had far more privacy and freedom to do what they wanted. But of course the reason for the public outrage for Hayward’s behavior is not so much because it had such a great impact as so much as it reflects a very bad attitude for a CEO who is already under severe scrutiny and criticism.

A few months ago, Tony Hayward was a name that was not even familiar with the general public, yet, in just a few months; he has become a man hated by millions. Such is the consequence of badly using social digital media and managing its CEO. Perhaps if BP has taken the effort to brand Tony Hayward prior to this crisis, his PR could have been better.

In this ultra-connected world, social digital media may as well be as important to a company as it’s finances, management, and efficiency. It could even be true that BP and Tony Hayward is doing their best to clean up the oil spill and working diligently to try and stop the leak but just because of a bad day on the social networking sphere, all the effort made by BP is then ignored by the public. Social digital marketing has become such a force that even on its own, it can shake a giant like BP.

— originally published by global. executive. board.

For more information on social media law, contact: Sardar Law Firm atsardar@sardarlawfirm.com.

Follow Sardar Law Firm on Twitter:http://twitter.com/sardarlawfirm

Follow Social Media Legalat:http://twitter.com/socialmedia_law

Tech-nically Social

In Entrepreneurs and Social Media, Social Media on June 2010 at 4:35 am

Great piece from global.executive.board. (non-legal, but still good stuff!)

In today’s recession the United States has provided individuals with an opportunity to stand up on their own feet. Due to loss of jobs, more and more Americans are turning to themselves to put bread on their tables, starting their own small businesses. The fastest growing field in the United States is computer and data processing services. This field varies from engineers to technical support, everyone in the middle, and everyone all of those people needs. As you may be able to see, the growth of one field leads to development of jobs of all kinds.  But the catch is that many companies never really make it out of that half-way successful bracket… enter social media. Social media has been playing a key role in helping companies to get their names out to the masses, and increasing the human network exponentially. In today’s world, if you don’t have a Facebook you’re not cool, if you don’t have a LinkedIn you’re not successful, and if you don’t have your own website you’re not important. That’s why everybody is trying to jump on social media before the wagon is full.

I know what you’re thinking “he’s brilliant… I should go do that too!” No! Not yet. What people fail to recognize is that, in the digital age, our media websites now serve as first impressions for employers, investors, friends, potential spouses, etc. And being a techie myself, I know just how bad we are at first impressions, and second, and third. We’re awkward people with an absolute inability to socialize properly. However, we can use social media to mold our personas the way we feel they should be portrayed to the people we meet on a daily bases. Now, I’m not saying to go to http://www.[enter dating website here].com and tell them you’re a 25 year old football player, when you’re really a 50 year old man who hasn’t ran since the bullies in 10th grade. Social media is where you can go to let your real self shine through properly. If you sit and really think about how to work on your persona, you can put it onto the web for everyone to see, exactly how you want them to see it.

You can publish your accomplishments, your knowledge, wisdom, personality and anything else online without the awkward silence after “hello.” I know you think I’m blabbing, but here is my point… if I Google or Bing [You’re name here], you should be the first person to show up, and if you’re really good, you should be the whole first page. How does this help you? People who invest in companies, buy from companies, and do anything with any company love knowing that the person running the company is a good man. Example, although there are many other operating systems in this world, we all know two: (1) Windows, (2) Mac OSX.  This is because we know Bill Gates and Steve Jobs.

Their entire companies are built around the person running them. No matter how digital the world gets, we need to see faces, we need to recognize names, and we need to feel involved. If you properly use digital media you can utilize it to make your name, show your face, and make us feel involved in your world. I guarantee if you have substance to back you, then you’ll move up a bracket or two.

Nabeel Shah is a member of global. executive. board.

It’s all Fun & Games till Someone Calls a Lawyer

In Entrepreneurs and Social Media, Social Media, Technology Issues and the Law on June 2010 at 8:29 pm

In the world of high school, burn books or “slam” books exist in a vacuum.  Teenagers gossip about each other in a vicious manner, and then the book is left behind.  Nowadays, in the social media world of permanency, burn books have taken on a viral quality – and have jumped from petty high school slams to workplace gossip and conduct. And in the fun, consequence-free world of social media, everything is fun and games… up until someone files a lawsuit or lodges a complaint against you.  Essentially, until someone brings in a social media lawyer to figure out what just happened.

(1) Social Media Complaint – It is Never Really Anonymous

Emory University dealt with this issue in 2008, and in April Formspring.com became a popular social media space for online gossip.  More often than not, posting an anonymous comment in an online burn book is not actually anonymous.  There are several ways to ascertain who posted the comment:  (1) if it was done through a work-owned server, it can be tracked; (2) if it was done through your phone, it can be easily tracked and it lessens the possible deniability option; and (3) if the social media or forum site wants to cooperate with a “the man,” they can easily turn over your identity.  In essence, it is never really anonymous.

(2) Workplace Issues from Social Media Gossip – Getting Fired

If someone finds out you posted gossip (true or untrue) about them on a social media website, they can complain and potentially lead to getting YOU fired.   A social media lawyer would tell you: workplace gossip should stay within the workplace (we realize it is impossible to eradicate it completely). Posting gossip about your co-worker can create a “hostile” work environment, and people have won lawsuits on less.  So if you would not make a poster of your comment and hang it in a conference room at work, then you probably should not be posting it online.


(3) Social Media Gossip – Getting Someone Else Fired

If someone is fired from their job based on gossip you posted on a social media or forum website, they may have a claim against you.  For example, if you incorrectly publish on a social networking site or any other online space that your co-worker is sleeping with his boss, causing said co-worker to lose his job – he may have a claim against you.  And those few hours of laughs you had at his expense with your friends while posting gossip online – those few hours are now the bane of your existence when his lawyer contacts you with a lawsuit.

Take a lesson from Mean Girls (the movie), gossip is never a good idea:  especially once you put it in writing.

by:  Benish Shah, Esq. & Sheheryar Sardar, Esq., Sardar Law Firm LLC

For more information on social media law, contact: Sardar Law Firm at sardar@sardarlawfirm.com.

Follow Sardar Law Firm on Twitter:http://twitter.com/sardarlawfirm

Follow Social Media Legalat:http://twitter.com/socialmedia_law