What You Need To Know About Social Media And Litigation

What You Need To Know About Social Media And Litigation

For decades, formal discovery during a lawsuit focused on paper documents and records. As technology advanced, electronic information such as emails and data on corporate computer systems became part of those investigations. Today, due to the explosion of technology and Internet use, everything from personal email, social media posts and text messages to smartphone photographs, blogs and instant messages is fair game in the discovery process.When it comes to social media, people in a potential legal dispute should follow these tips:

  1. Never say or post anything if it has any possibility of relating to your case. Your best bet is to not post anything at all.
  2. Never post anything about your case, even if you think no one else can see it.
  3. Use caution when accepting friend requests from people in the legal field.
  4. Never accept a friend request from an individual you don’t know.
  5. If you are represented by an attorney, seek your attorney’s advice before deleting or altering your social media account.

Andy Radhakant and Matthew Diskin, authors of the American Bar Association article, “How Social Media Are Transforming Litigation,” put it best when they wrote:

“The openness of social media — and users’ willingness to tweet and post things they would never dream of saying in a letter or an email — means that social networks offer rich repositories of potential prelitigation intelligence and fodder for cross-examination.”

The discoverability of information on social media sites is an evolving issue. However, any information posted on a social media site that has some relevance to a dispute may be used in litigation.

Sources:

InsideCounsel.com, “#LitigationImpact: The digital frontier of litigation and the explosion of social media

AmericanBar.org, ” ‘E-Discovery’ and the Undiscovered Territory of Social Media

AmericanBar.org “How Social Media Are Transforming Litigation