The New York State Bar Association announced two new Continuing Legal Education (CLE) programs focused on online reputation management. Sameer Somal, a defamation expert witness, and Alexander Paykin, a commercial litigator, will present the featured programs. 

These CLEs will be offered several weeks apart in May and June. You can register for the May program here. They are designed to provide actionable strategies for lawyers to make informed online reputation decisions for their practice, firms, and clients. The programs will explore several aspects of online reputation management, review appropriate code standards, and highlight real-world case studies. 

“Reputation is your most precious asset. For attorneys, maintaining a positive online reputation is critical in today’s digital age where true or false information can spread swiftly to millions of people,” said Somal. While building a positive reputation may take years, a single negative review or defamatory article can be catastrophic. Mitigating reputation risk is foundational to one’s personal and professional opportunity set.”

Paykin added, “Online Reputation Management helps present attorneys and their firms to potential clients in the intended light. People searching for a lawyer or law firm online typically perceive the first search engine results as accurately reflecting their credibility. It sticks with them if they encounter unfavorable and woefully inaccurate information, potentially dissuading them from engaging the attorney.  There are many bad actors out there, and while suing anonymous online reviewers for defamation is just not practical, and fighting the online services that post them obscenely wasteful. Learning how to optimize what appears when your name is searched for is effectively your only avenue for protecting yourself against inaccurate representations.”

About New York State Bar Association:

The New York State Bar Association is the largest voluntary state bar association in the United States, with members in 50 states and over 100 countries worldwide. It was founded in 1876 to advance the science of jurisprudence, promote reform in the law, facilitate the administration of justice, and elevate the standards of integrity, honor, professional skill, and courtesy in the legal profession.

About Alexander Paykin:

Since emigrating from Russia in 1989, Mr. Paykin has lived in multiple countries, owned numerous successful businesses in the financial and IT worlds, and now acts as Managing Director and sole owner of The Law Office of Alexander Paykin, P.C., while also overseeing a technology and finance consultancy catering to law firms and other professionals, a real estate brokerage, and a real estate holding company.  His diverse life experiences have helped him to understand different mentalities, cultures, and points of view, making him an effective advocate for many complex issues.  Mr. Paykin’s firm is modeled as a high-tech, client-centered law firm, focusing on delivering efficient services in litigation and complex transactions relating to business/commerce, finance, and real estate.

Mr. Paykin regularly teaches continuing legal education (CLE) courses to fellow attorneys on behalf of the American Bar Association, the New York State Bar Association, and other attorney associations and groups.  He has been repeatedly published in the New York State Bar Association Journal on topics ranging from mutual insurer demutualization and the definition of policyholder for demutualization payout purposes to artificial intelligence in the practice of modern law.

Mr. Paykin knows and understands the value of hard work and prioritizes giving back to his community whenever possible.  He sits on three 501(c)(3) non-profit boards: a veterans’ needs charity called General Needs, a domestic violence shelter network called Brighter Tomorrows, where he serves as Secretary of the Board, and a community improvement charity known as the Commack-Kings Park Charitable Fund where he previously served two terms as President of the Board and is now still serving on the Board.  Mr. Paykin is also a former president of his Rotary Club, a Paul Harris Fellow, a Paul Harris Society Member, and an active Major Donor to the Rotary Foundation.  His firm is a major donor to General Needs.

About Sameer Somal:

Sameer Somal is the CEO of Blue Ocean Global Technology and Co-Founder of Girl Power Talk. He is a CFA Charterholder, a CFP® professional, and a Chartered Alternative Investment AnalystSM. Sameer leads client engagements focused on digital transformation, risk management, and technology development. As a testifying subject matter expert witness in economic damages, intellectual property, and internet defamation, he has authored CLE programs with the Philadelphia Bar Foundation. Sameer is a frequent speaker at private industry and public sector conferences, including engagements with the Federal Home Loan Bank (FHLB), Global Digital Marketing Summit, IBM, New York State Bar Association (NYBSA), US Defense Leadership Forum, and US State Department’s Foreign Service Institute. 

Sameer also proudly serves on the board of directors of Future Business Leaders of America (FBLA) and Girl Power USA. Committed to building relationships, Sameer is an active member of the Abraham Lincoln Association (ALA), Academy of Legal Studies in Business (ALSB), American Bar Association (ABA), American Marketing Association (AMA), Business Transition Council, International Trademark Association (INTA), and Society of International Business Fellows (SIBF). A graduate of Georgetown University, he held leadership roles at Bank of America, Morgan Stanley, and Scotiabank. Sameer is also a CFA Institute 2022 Inspirational Leader Award recipient and was named an Iconic Leader by the Women Economic Forum.

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