(Image credit: Birthday Cake – Candles by Jessica N. Diamond, published under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 2.0 license)
Its almost hard to believe that Jacobson Attorneys is 4 years old today. I left Werksmans Incorporated on 31 July 2005 and started Jacobson Attorneys on 1 August 2005. My goal was to create a small law firm that offered the same sort of commercial litigation services I offered while I was at Werksmans. At the time I focussed on unlawful competition and long term insurance litigation and I worked for one of the top unlawful competition litigators in the country.
Jacobson Attorneys’ focus has shifted over time. I started chilibean with Victoire Albany a couple years ago, first as a blog covering social media in South Africa and then, briefly, as a social media consultancy. It just didn’t seem like the right time for us to start the consultancy so we shut that down after a couple months. I was then and remain really passionate about social media so I decided to roll that passion into my legal practice and my social media focus was born. Its safe to say I was a little ahead of the curve there and it took a while before an awareness of the legal issues to catch up with business adoption. The last few months have been particularly interesting for me. I’ve been talking to and advising local banks, creative agencies and communications companies on issues such as reputation management (from a legal perspective), content licensing, privacy and personal information.
Looking ahead I expect new legislation like the Consumer Protection Act to have a profound impact on how businesses interact with their customers. Customers are a central focus on the social Web so it is not hard to imagine how this legislation will tie in with the sort of consumer activism we are becoming accustomed to online. The Act includes provisions dealing with privacy and protection of personal information in its 94 pages. This already expands our existing privacy law which will expand even further should the anticipated Protection of Access to Information Bill enter the legislative process in the near future.
It is safe to say that this area of the law is going to become a lot more interesting going forward and it is more important than ever before to have a lawyer who understands both the social media ethos and the legal issues that may arise when you go online.
You may have gathered that Jacobson Attorneys has a presence on Facebook. I created the page a short while ago and it is proving to be a great way to share information and ideas about this area of the law. I encourage you to visit the page and become a fan if you are a Facebook user (you can actually become a fan simply by clicking on the Facebook Connect button at the top of the sidebar on this site):
I also have a channel on FriendFeed for any FriendFeed users. I am excited about FriendFeed as a content aggregator and a discussion tool so if you are curious about or use FriendFeed, head over there are join the channel.
I’ve had quite a ride the last 4 years and I think the next few months alone are going to be pretty exciting. I am expanding the firm’s capabilities with a couple new lawyers and hope to kick that up a notch or two in the new year with a couple discussions I am having with some interesting people.
Thank you for being part of my firm and, as always, I welcome any constructive feedback, positive or negative. Get in touch on the site, on Facebook, FriendFeed or even plain old email, phone and fax!