Canadian Lawyer InHouse

Feb/Mar 2010

Legal news and trends for Canadian in-house counsel and c-suite executives

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EDITOR'S BOX By Kelly Harris INHOUSE Group Publisher: Karen Lorimer Editorial Director Gail J. Cohen Editor: Kelly Harris Staff Writer: Robert Todd Copy Editor: Heather Gardiner Creative Director: Einar Rice Art Director: Bill Hunter Account Co-ordinators: Alice Chen & Catherine Giles Publications Mail Agreement #40766500 ISSN 1921-9563 Copyright © 2010 G.S.T. Registration #R121349799 Advertising Sales Representatives Legal Suppliers: Kimberlee Pascoe Tel: (905) 713-4342 E-mail: Law Firms: Karen Lorimer Tel: (905) 713-4339 E-mail: Kathy Liotta Tel: (905) 713-4340 E-mail: Sales Co-ordinator: Sandy Shutt Tel: (905) 713-4337 E-mail: Canadian Lawyer Magazine Inc. President: Stuart J. Morrison Canadian Lawyer InHouse is published 6 times a year by Canadian Lawyer Magazine Inc., 240 Edward St., Aurora, Ont. L4G 3S9 (905) 841-6480 Fax: (905) 727-0017. E-mail: Web: All rights reserved. Contents may not be reprinted without written permission. The opinions expressed in articles are not necessarily those of the publisher. Information presented is compiled from sources believed to be accurate, however, the publisher assumes no responsi- bility for errors or omissions. Canadian Lawyer InHouse disclaims any warranty as to the accuracy, completeness or currency of the contents of this publication and disclaims all liability in respect of the results of any action taken or not taken in reliance upon information in this publication. To subscribe Call 1-888-743-3551 x4355 or e-mail RETURN UNDELIVERABLE CANADIAN ADDRESS TO: CIRCULATION DEPARTMENT 240 EDWARD ST., AURORA, ON L4G 3S9 Indexed in the Canadian Periodical Index Indexed in the Canadian Periodical Index All the world's a stage O ne of the primary questions and search mechanisms on Facebook is place of employ- ment. That's right, if you were to log onto your Facebook account right now, or create one if you must, and type in your company name I'll bet you can pull up a list of current and former employees. Sometimes they'll have pages dedicated to employees of companies where they post pictures and discuss things that happened in the work- place, like who got out of hand at the staff party. Or there could be pages of former employees who criticize management or the way a certain boss treated them. Sometimes these pages are not even intended to be malicious, but rather telling a funny story that may put a company in an unfavourable light. The really scary thing is these are often what they call "public" pages meaning everyone can see them; your competition, your board of directors, your family, and so on. The fact is regardless of whether or not your company has an online presence it is a pretty good bet your employees do. For in-house lawyers, the age of social media must be fascinating and terrifying all at the same time. Many people still think this is a fad, but the number of people logging on and uploading simply does not bear out. My first web page was filled with scanned photos, it would take me hours to scan, crop, and edit the pic- tures. Then it would take even more time to wait to upload the pages through a file transfer protocol. Today a person at your company's Christmas party or golf tournament can take a photo using a hand-held device and post it on the Internet almost immedi- ately. This is when risk management truly becomes art. In this edition's cover story "Tapping the social media keg" on page 16, it was interesting to see the legal team at Molson Coors Canada using the same risk mitigation tools often used by governments. Chief legal officer Kelly Brown speaks of the interaction between media monitoring, an online response team, and the legal depart- ment. Molson seems to be on the fore- front of dealing with social media. The company is using existing laws when necessary to deal with such incidents as people posing as Molson employ- ees, but it also seems to understand that online, a heavy-handed approach is not always the best approach. A proper social media policy will have to deal with these two issues: working with existing laws and under- standing appropriate responses. Social media can be a powerful tool, but it will be the in-house lawyers who need to understand it best, in order to make the most use of it. IH For weekly INHOUSE news and updates go to: INHOUSE FEBRUARY 2010 • 3

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