“The hallmark of my practice is to be a trusted advisor to my clients by giving them unbiased advice and guiding them so that they can make the best decisions possible, for themselves and their businesses. My own sense of personal integrity demands nothing less.”
Shawn E. Tuma
Shawn E. Tuma is an experienced business, litigation, and intellectual property attorney who helps businesses and individuals assess, avoid, and resolve business and legal issues. Shawn has spent his career handling cases before state and federal courts alike and is well versed in both traditional and emerging areas of the law. In addition to his career-long business law and litigation practice, he has developed a niche practice as a thought-leader in emerging areas of such as computer fraud, data breach, privacy, and social media law, with a strong command of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. Shawn enjoys handling highly complex commercial, technological, and intellectual property matters as much as he does those that are more traditional. The primary practice areas where Shawn has substantial experience can be grouped into the following categories:
|Digital Business Risk | Technology|
|Social Media Law|
|Litigation | Dispute Resolution|
Shawn believes his greatest strengths are his integrity, judgment, creativity, and intensity which help him best serve his clients. His clients’ interests are his paramount concern and achieving their objectives in the most efficient and expeditious way possible is always his top priority. Because of this, he has found a great deal of satisfaction in serving as the trusted adviser for small to midsize companies as their outside general counsel. This is a natural fit for him because he views himself as more of a general adviser who just so happens to have a legal background. In that role he tries his best to help his clients avoid getting into disputes in the first place. While his goal is to help keep his clients out of those kinds of disputes, if they do arise, he believes in trying his best to reach a peaceful resolution. By following this approach, Shawn has learned that his clients will then trust in him enough to know that he has done his best to help them avoid the conflict but, if there must be a conflict, they will not only fight, but they will fight to win!
Case Strategy and Execution Philosophy
It is in the fight that Shawn thrives! He does so by utilizing his extremely high level of intensity and focus to work toward achieving his client’s litigation and business objectives in the most efficient manner possible. He knows that no two cases are the same. These objectives cannot be efficiently obtained by aimlessly or whimsically “litigating” a case without a carefully planned strategy and plan for execution. As with the game of chess, every move must be strategically considered and planned out well before the move is made.The case strategy must be custom tailored to the unique needs of each client and case. Some cases require a very aggressive attacking strategy, some require a moderate, rational and reasonable approach, yet others require more of a defensive posture. In Shawn’s experience, he has learned that using the wrong strategy for the case can bring about an undesirable result and waste a lot of my client’s money in the process.Because of Shawn’s philosophy on how each case requires a unique strategy, he is amused by how some lawyers purposefully brand themselves as always being “tenacious”, “fierce”, “aggressive”, or “uncompromising”. That is not to say that in litigation there are not many times when attorneys have to be that way in order to achieve their case objectives and Shawn is certainly no exception. Because of his very intense nature, when it is time to attack, he will attack with a level of tenacity, ferocity, and aggression that few have ever seen. That approach, however, is not what is always needed. There are many times when the case objectives require that the attorneys be reasonable, rational, and compromising. To this end, Shawn knows that truly looking out for his clients’ best interests requires that he have all of the skills needed to execute the strategy and achieve the case objectives–not that he simply a “one trick pony” who knows only one approach.
Professional Memberships and Associations
Media | Publications | Speeches
Computer | Data Privacy | Social Media | Law Blog
To continually develop and maintain his level of knowledge on emerging issues and share that knowledge with others, Shawn started and manages the Computer | Data Privacy | Social Media | Law Blog that addresses technology related legal issues such as the following: Computer Fraud and Abuse Act, computer fraud, data breach and privacy issues, and social media law.
Shawn is an avid writer and he has authored several published works. His publications have been cited by several courts (including the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit), professional practice guides, and text books and are listed below:
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act 101, Texas Lawyer, Dec. 19, 2011 edition
“What Does CFAA Mean and Why Should I Care?” A Primer on the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act for Civil Litigators, The South Carolina Law Review, Volume 63, Number 1, Autumn 2011
Law in Texas Literature: Texas Justice—Judge Roy Bean Style, The Review of Litigation, Volume 21, Number 3
Contracting Over the Internet in Texas, Baylor Law Review, Volume 52, Number 2
Municipalities & The Internet: A Few Legal Issues, Thurgood Marshall Law Review, Volume 27, Number 1
It Ain’t Over ‘Til . . . A Post Y-2K Analysis of Y2K Litigation & Legislation, Texas Tech Law Review, Volume 31, Book IV
Preserving Liberty: United States v. Printz and the Vigilant Defense of Federalism, Regent University Law Review, Volume 10, Number 1
Media | References
InsideCounsel quoted Shawn Tuma on the recent Computer Fraud and Abuse Act opinion by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in U.S. v. Nosal in article titled Decision Deepens Circuit Split on Scope of CFAA
Whistleblower and Bounty Law, Steve Kardell, (March 2012)
January 3, 2012, quoted extensively on social media law in Your Business Needs a Social Media Policy: Here’s Why (and How) , Small Business Support publication.
In 2011, Professor David R. Papke and his co-authors have included an excerpt from Law in Texas Literature: Texas Justice—Judge Roy Bean Style in their law school course book entitled Law and Popular Culture: Text, Notes and Questions that is published by LexisNexis.
Guest appearance on Capital Thinking, a national business talk radio show, to discuss the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act. The date of the program was October 13, 2011 and the archive is available HERE though Shawn’s segment begins at the 32:00 minute mark.
Interview with Cordell Parvin to discuss social media and computer fraud issues, available HERE
Shawn was quoted concerning privacy and social media law in Who Owns Your LinkedIn Profile? It Might Not Be You that was published in Forbes, BNET, PC World, and other news sources.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit cited Law in Texas Literature: Texas Justice—Judge Roy Bean Style in the case Buntion v. Quarterman, 524 F.3d 664 (5th Cir. 2008).
In 2003, when the issue of enforceability of contracts entered into over the Internet was still an issue, a Virginia Circuit Court cited Contracting Over the Internet in Texas in the case Trinity Homes, LLC v. Fang, 63 Va. Cir. 409 (Va. Cir. Ct. Nov. 13, 2003).
In addition to the courts, Shawn’s articles have been referenced by the Federal Sentencing Reporter, American Association of Law Schools Section on Contracts and cited in the following Law Review Journals:
New York University Law Review, Harvard Journal on Legislation, Columbia Science and Technology Law Review, Texas Law Review, Michigan State University Journal of Medicine & Law, Drexel Law Review, Journal of Technology Law & Policy, McGeorge Law Review, Baylor Law Review, Fidelity Law Journal, University of Chicago Legal Forum, Seton Hall Constitutional Law Journal, Regent University Law Review, South Dakota Law Review
Throughout his professional career Shawn has had the pleasure of being invited to speak on a variety of legal topics, many of which have included legal issues related to developing technology. These topics have included the creation and enforceability of electronic contracts and signatures, issues surrounding the Y2K concerns (that never really came to pass), employee Internet use policies for businesses and other organizations, and methods for using the Internet and other technology for increasing the profitability of existing businesses. Shawn is currently working on several presentations related to the developing area of social media law, computer fraud, data breach and their legal implications for businesses. Here are some of his recent presentations:
Digital Information Law & Your Business, The Alternative Board (4/1/14) (slides)
The Legal Side of Data Breach and Third Party Risk, Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) 9th Annual Fraud Summit (3/28/14) (slides)
Espionage & The Law, Institute of Internal Auditors (IIA) 2nd Annual IIA Super Conference (10/25/13)
Combating Corporate Espionage – Data Breach (and the law) (10/24/13) (Prezi)
The Law Online – Posting Gone Wild!, Parenting Paper<less Conference (10/19/13) (slides)
Fraud 2.0 – Overview and Update of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act and a Few Lessons About Data Breaches, Privacy, Data Security, and eCommerce Committee of the State Bar of Texas (8/28/13) (slides)
Anatomy of a Data Breach – What To Do When The Unthinkable Occurs, Texas Dental Association & Smart Training LLC (7/31/13) (Prezi)
Fraud 2.0 – Helping Businesses Prepare for Computer Fraud and Data Breaches, The IAA – Association of Accountants and Financial Professionals in Business (5/16/13) (slides)
Social Media Law, PlayMaker’s Radio Talk Show (3/13) (audio recording)
Social Media Law – It is Real and, Yes, Really Can Impact Your Business, MENG – Marketing Executives Networking Group (11/9/12) (slides)
Fraud 2.0 – An Overview of the Laws that Help Businesses and Individuals Combat Computer Fraud, Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) (11/8/12) (slides)
Social Media Law – It is Real and, Yes, Really Can Impact Your Business, Social Media Breakfast – Dallas (8/30/12) (video)
Social Media Law – The Legal Do’s and Don’ts of Social Media, TrustPoint Management Group (8/10/12) (slides)
The Evolving Computer Fraud and Abuse Act – An Overview and Update of Recent Activity, Dallas Bar Association Computer Law Section (4/23/12) (slides)
Computer Fraud and Abuse Act – A Lunch Sampler With a Little Something for Everyone, Dallas Bar Association Computer Law Section (8/22/11) (slides)
Shawn earned his Juris Doctrate degree from Regent University School of Law where he graduated Summa Cum Laude and had the privilege of serving as Editor-in-Chief of the Regent University Law Review. His greatest honor, however, was being selected by the Administration and Faculty as the Outstanding Graduate in the School of Law. He earned his undergraduate degree from Northwestern State University, with honors.