Litigation and social media

Recently, an article written by Tyler Tomlinson called “Facebook Users Beware” discussed the emergence of social media in litigation. We've all heard stories about the surge of employers looking into prospective and current employees on Facebook, MySpace, and other social networking sites. This has been going on for quite a while, but is starting to create a murky mire in the area of litigation. Not only are employers exercising this avenue of investigation, but so are litigators and the people who represent them. People involved in litigation are finding that they must be very aware of what they write and post for it can cost them an arm and a leg. Literally!

Courts in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, New York, and California have all entered orders demanding that the parties involved with a suit provide access to their social networking sites to enable both sides of the aisle to review them for potentially damaging information in accordance with the case at hand.

One example would be for the defense, in which they would exhibit pictures of an injured person (the plaintiff) skiing and not actually being injured. Another example, on the plaintiff's side, would be where they would exhibit pictures or video of the injured party/person struggling at physical therapy to counter the defense’s contention that the plaintiff really isn't injured.

Either way can make or break a case.

Bottom line, think before you post as it could come back to haunt and potentially harm you in a variety of ways (legally, financially, and emotionally). In today's stratosphere of Internet technology and the information highway, be prudent and take note not only of what you say, but of who may read what you write. Potential pitfalls may lurk beyond your post.

According to author Tyler Tomlinson, “The Internet and social networking sites have changed the face of litigation in this country." It is forever changed.

Posted by Nichole Chobin | Technology, Best Practices | Comments 0 |
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