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Emojis and emoticons are showing up in court cases, and lawyers are all (☉_☉) about it

TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY TUPAC POINTU
A picture shows emoji characters also known as emoticons on the screens of two mobile phones in Paris on August 6, 2015. Forget traditional banners and promotional videos, brands are turning to emojis to communicate with their Generation Z target audience. AFP PHOTO / MIGUEL MEDINA        (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)
MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images
A picture shows emoji characters also known as emoticons on the screens of two mobile phones in Paris on August 6, 2015.

Lawyers are having a tough time arguing in court when emoticon and emojis are involved.

Lawyers are having a tough time arguing in court when emoticon and emojis are involved.

With the ambiguous nature of a martini glass or dancing horse come questions in sexual harassment, defamation and other cases.

As reported by the Wall Street Journal, judges on a Michigan Court of Appeals came to the decision that “:P” was used to “denote a joke or sarcasm and could not be considered defamatory.” Another lawyer’s sexual harassment case in Santa Monica argued that a red-lipstick kiss emoji confirmed that a potential female employee approved of a producer’s sexual advances.

With the endless combinations of emojis and emoticons and their meanings, how are lawyers navigating this new landscape?

Guests:

Gabriella Ziccarelli, technology attorney at Blank Rome LLP in Washington D.C., where she addresses disruptive technologies including emojis and emoticons in court cases

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