It was a pretty typical Monday after returning from the SEALS conference. The first thing I did was turn in my travel report to Jan Ingram, the law school’s Travel Manager, for fear that if I waited too long, I’d misplace the receipts—and then I’d be in a pickle. After that Marjorie LaRue-Britt and Joan Van Tol The Law School Admission Council (logo)  of the Law School Admissions Council called so that we could talk about the work of the Finance and Legal Affairs Committee, which I am chairing, for the next two years.  Their feedback was helpful and left me feeling a lot more prepared for the upcoming board retreat.

Turning my attentions to the upcoming panel on social media and the workplace to that I was to moderate at ABA Annual Meeting, I was started  by something I learned from Lauren Schwartzreich’s paper, The Internet is Written in Ink: Workplace Liabilities & Litigation Hurdles in the Age of Web 2.0. In her paper, Lauren cautions employers from relying on credit ratings, as credit ratings, “may be based in part on one’s social media activities.” Now, maybe that had occurred to you, but I hadn’t thought about it.  I remember from teaching about the Fair Credit Reporting Act in employment law class that there’s a reputational component to an “investigative consumer report” which is defined in the statute as:

a consumer report or portion thereof in which information on a consumer’s character, general reputation, personal characteristics, or mode of living is obtained through personal interviews with neighbors, friends, or associates of the consumer reported on or with others with whom he is acquainted or who may have knowledge concerning any such items of information. However, such information shall not include specific factual information on a consumer’s credit record obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from a consumer reporting agency when such information was obtained directly from a creditor of the consumer or from the consumer.

I just hadn’t put two and two together to think about how social media makes this even easier for the agency gathering the information.  According to an article by Erica Sandberg, Lauren cited in her paper, “In their quest to identify creditworthy customers, some are tapping into the information you and your friends reveal in the virtual stratosphere.” Huh!  Sandberg explains why financial institutions are interested in your social media background. “Another reason credit issuers are looking to this data is to reduce lending risk. Social graphs allow credit issuers to know if you’re connected to a community of great credit customers. Creditors can see if people in your network have accounts with them, and are free to look at how they are handling those accounts.” I’ve linked to the article, so you can read more about it if you’re curious.  I learn from my interactions with presenters at conferences, whether they are practice oriented, or more academic in nature.  The good thing is that whatever I learn I can pass on to students. 

That evening I joined my Bestie, Carol Gattis for dinner at Theo’s.  We hadn’t seen each other since the ride to Eureka, and hadn’t had a chance to really visit for a while. Theo’s is one of our favorite restaurants in Northwest Arkansas, even more so now that Mr. Polite works there.  Mr. Polite (Ryan) used to work at Lambeth Lounge on campus and is a great guy and super bar tender.  So, since we liked Theo’s, and Mr. Polite, it is a win-win.  Unfortunately he wasn’t there that evening.  It was pretty quiet, the server explained that that’s typical on a Monday, but that was fine by us.  Carol had the blackened snapper (which is very similar to the blackened redfish that used to be on the menu) and I ordered the duck comfit with squash ravioli (and brussels sprouts but those are not my favs).  We both enjoyed our meals and the opportunity to relax, laugh and catch up.  

Special birthday wishes and lots of love to my younger brother Elliott and his family.  Happy Birthday Elliott. I hope this next year is a great one for you.

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