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Miami Law Students Conduct Ethics Training for Palm Beach County Bar

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From left, Justin Ortiz, Christopher Hopkins and Matthew Friendly

From left, Justin Ortiz, Christopher Hopkins and Matthew Friendly. (Photo: Miami Law) Full-Size Photo

Justin Ortiz and Matthew Friendly, two students in Miami Law's Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program, recently presented an interactive ethics and technology session for the Palm Beach County Bar Association's Technology Practice Committee's Program.

Under the supervision of Jan Jacobowitz, PREP's director, the students created a lively hypothetical format that focused on ethical issues pertaining to law firm websites, cutting-edge advertising formats and proposed changes to Florida's advertising rules. The session was titled, Is Your Website in Compliance with Florida's New Advertising Regulations?

The PREP students engaged about 80 attorneys in an in-depth conversation about using the Internet and social media, both as an advertising strategy and as litigation tools.

"It was great to have such an engaged crowd," Friendly said. "Attorneys are very interested in the proposed advertising rules and I enjoyed answering their questions."

"The rules of professional responsibility surrounding advertisement and social media are complex in Florida," Ortiz remarked. "It was extremely satisfying to see that all of our hard work and research had an impact on the Palm Beach legal community."

Christopher Hopkins, a partner with Akerman Senterfitt and the chair of the Bar's Technology Practice Committee, emailed the students after the event and said he had received "very good feedback" about it. "Thank you for an excellent job," the message said. "I enjoyed it and it was a very large crowd for this kind of presentation — a good sign!"

The Professional Responsibility and Ethics Program was established in 1996 as an in-house program within the Center for Ethics and Public Service at the University of Miami School of Law. The program dedicates student hours to public service and has educated thousands of members of the Florida Bench and Bar.