Ohio State Bar Association Code of Conduct
The Ohio State Bar Association (“OSBA”) is dedicated to providing a professional, inclusive and harassment-free experience for our members and other participants. Our social networking forums, programs and events, both virtual and in-person, are designed to foster engagement and encourage the open exchange of ideas. To that end, the following set of guidelines for participation in OSBA social networking forums, programs and events should be followed.
This Code of Conduct applies to all OSBA event and program participants, guests, presenters, sponsors, exhibitors, and staff, both virtual and in-person (“Attendees”). This Code of Conduct also applies to all users of the OSBA website, its subsites, and social networks (“Users”).
The OSBA expects that all Attendees and Users will conduct themselves in a manner consistent with this Code of Conduct. The following is expected of all Attendees and Users:
- Exhibit a courteous and professional manner;
- Refrain from disruption of presentations and events;
- Refrain from engaging in offensive, harassing or discriminatory behavior;
- Refrain from violence of any kind, including but not limited to, the dissemination of violent content; and
- Follow all federal, state and local laws.
In-Person Events & Programs
In addition to adhering to our General Requirements, Attendees of in-person events and programs must respect the rules, policies and property of the OSBA. Additionally, OSBA event spaces are often contracted venues and may be shared by the public. Attendees are expected to remain considerate to all patrons of such venues and to obey the rules, policies and property of all contracted venues and vendors.
Virtual Events & Programs
In addition to adhering to our General Requirements, except for shares of de-minimis information on social media to promote the event or content, Attendees of virtual events and programs are prohibited from recording or transmitting any content, video or presentation included in an OSBA virtual event or program. De-minimis shares should give appropriate attribution to the OSBA and/or a speaker/content provider. Additionally, Attendees of virtual events are prohibited from including promotional materials, offers, or other solicitations for services not offered by the OSBA in any event or program comment sections.
Social networking allows OSBA members the ability to interact with other members and the public. Social networks include, but are not limited to networking sites (Facebook, LinkedIn), blogs and microblogs (Twitter), member communities, video-sharing sites (YouTube) and photo-sharing sites (Instagram)
In addition to the General Requirements, Users of OSBA social networks must adhere to the following when engaging on such:
- Be responsible. Users are responsible for the material that they post. All statements must be true and not misleading. Do not post private information about yourself or others.
- Adhere to the Rules of Professional Conduct and, where applicable, the Code of Judicial Conduct. Comply with all legal restrictions and obligations governing professional conduct, particularly those regulating communication and advertising.
- Be upfront; identify yourself. Use your real name, and, if relevant, your role or interest in the topic discussed. Recall that only the president or designee has the authority to speak on behalf of the OSBA.
- Be civil and respectful. It is acceptable to disagree with others and challenge positions, but such discussion must be courteous and professional.
- Follow copyright and fair use laws.
- Refrain from postings that encourage or facilitate agreements between OSBA members of different firms concerning the following, as they pertain to legal services: prices, discounts, or terms/conditions of sale; salaries; profits, profit margins, or cost data; market shares, sales territories, or markets; allocation of customers or suppliers; or any other term or condition related to competition.
- Abide by the rules of all applicable social networking sites.
- Refrain from engaging in marketing and advertising. These uses are inconsistent with the purposes of general dialogue and the exchange of information. OSBA may use its own social media site to promote programs and services.
- Avoid posting political or campaign information. This includes local, state and federal races and issues, as well as OSBA elections.
Enforcement & Consequences
Attendees and Users are asked to report any suspected violations of this Code of Conduct to the General Counsel of the Association at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Any Attendee or User asked to stop behavior prohibited by this policy is expected to immediately comply. The OSBA may take any action it deems appropriate and reserves the right to terminate event or program attendance or use of social media sites immediately and without refund for anyone violating this Code of Conduct. Additionally, such violations may result in the inability to register for future OSBA programs and events.
Finally, also be aware that inappropriate behavior, whether in-person or virtual, may subject an attorney or judge discipline for failing to adhere to the applicable Rules of Professional Conduct (RPC) or Code of Judicial Conduct (CJC), as well as civil or criminal liability or penalties.
Adopted by the Board of Governors on June 11, 2021.