Guidelines for Use of Social Media

1.1        Social media are web applications, sites or accounts created and maintained by the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society that create a space where respectful conversations can happen with lawyers and members of the public about legal- and justice-related subjects or issues.

1.2        Lawyers and members of the public who use the Society’s social media sites are deemed to agree to these guidelines. Breach, either intentional or unintentional, may result in liability for the user.

1.3        Guidelines for comments, posts and messages on the Society’s social media sites:

  • The Society’s Vision and Values are at the foundation of all Society communications and engagement channels, including social media sites. 
  • The Society recognizes and respects diverse perspectives and differences in opinion. Constructive input, criticism and concerns are welcome.
  • If you have a complaint about a lawyer or legal services in Nova Scotia, please see the Complaints process section of the Society’s website. The Society does not use social media sites in its complaint process.
  • Treat others with respect and keep your comments clean. Hateful, discriminatory, offensive, obscene, threatening, derogatory or defamatory posts will be deleted.
  • Refrain from posting private, personal information about yourself or others.
  • If you see any threats, harassment or personal information trolling, please report it to us immediately.
  • Lawyers must at all times adhere to their obligations under the Code of Professional Conduct and the Regulations made pursuant to the Legal Profession Act.
  • Some responses are issued by the Executive Director, which may delay response time.
  • If you have questions, concerns or feedback – positive or critical – please get in touch with us here.

1.4      The Society may remove your comments or posts from its social media sites, temporarily or permanently, for the following reasons:

  • harassing, threatening or personally attacking another poster or a member, employee or volunteer of the Society;
  • promoting or linking to businesses or commercial enterprises;
  • posting links to discriminatory, threatening, illegal or otherwise offensive websites;
  • disclosing private and confidential information;
  • infringing copyright;
  • mining the site for data, or inserting spyware, viruses, Trojans, worms or any other form of malicious or damaging software; and
  • spamming (posting solicitations, scams or repetitive content).

1.5        Social media sites affiliated with the Society are regularly monitored. All postings that contain any of the above will be immediately removed and the poster barred from posting subsequent messages to the Society’s social media sites.

1.6        By posting content, the user agrees to indemnify the Nova Scotia Barristers’ Society and its officers and employees from and against all liabilities, judgments, damages and costs (including legal fees) incurred, arising from or related to the posted content. Forums and messaging may not be used for commercial purposes or for organized political activity.

1.7        On the Society’s social media sites, follows, shares and retweets do not express or imply endorsement.

1.8        All NSBS communications – including those via social media sites – are aligned with the Society’s statutory purpose under section 4 of the Legal Profession Act.  

1.9        The following NSBS social media sites are currently subject to this policy:

2.0        Use of social media at Society events

  • Media representatives and members of the public are permitted to use social media to report on Society meetings and other events, as long as it is not disruptive to the proceedings.
  • For professional responsibility hearings:

- In the hearing room, once a hearing is underway, texting, Tweeting, emailing or other live text-based forms of communication are prohibited unless a Hearing Panel provides permission to attendees at a hearing.

- When a Hearing Panel permits live transmissions by social media, publication bans made pursuant to section 44(3) of the Legal Profession Act must be observed in all transmissions or other publication of hearing proceedings.

- Publication bans are rare at Society hearings but are communicated clearly to attendees to ensure that social media activity, if permitted, does not breach a ban.   

Effective 2015-08-31