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Social Media and Your Case

August 2015

Clients can now communicate and share ideas and opinions to a wide-ranging audience using websites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn. Social media sites provide the means to network both professionally and personally, to self-promote, and to locate and research contacts. Detailed personal information, photographs and activities are easily posted to social media sites.

Accessing such information has become a gold mine for opposing parties in claims which a client may be pursuing. Likewise, law enforcement inspects social media for information regarding past and future criminal activity.

It is common in litigated matters for discovery to involve a review of social media sites such as Facebook. Posts regarding ongoing cases, injuries, opinions and other information may now be available to the opposition. In addition, lawyers are restricted in their ability to have clients remove or modify social media sites to prevent the opposing party/(ies) access to posts. 

If a client claims injuries then posts photographs of activities which are inconsistent with such injuries, the opposition will be provided with valuable information which could discredit the claims being made.

The best advice is that if you are engaged in a legal matter, you should avoid posting information regarding that matter on any social media site. Once information is posted, even though access to the site can be modified or posts deleted, courts have ordered access to the sites on a regular basis. If you have a question about whether information should be posted on a social media site, then do not post it. It may be too late to prevent access to what you consider to be private social postings long after you considered the effect of a specific post.

Before posting on any social media site regarding any legal issue or potential legal issue, use caution. If you have legal questions about any matter which you intend to post and which could become public in nature, whether on a social networking site or otherwise, it is best to consult with your attorney.

 

Attorney Terence Bouressa

 

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As always, seek the advice of a qualified legal professional regarding any legal issues you may have. You should not disregard professional advice or refrain from seeking professional advice because of anything contained in this article. The information contained herein is general and educational in nature. Because each case is different and each legal analysis is customized for individual clients, the information contained in this article should never be used to determine your legal rights.

 

 

 

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