CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: What We Are Doing to Protect Our Clients

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Whether we like it or not social media is here to stay. Social media has changed the landscape of human society in many ways.  It has impacted how humans communicate with each other and what we share with each other.  It has changed the marketing industry. Social media posts have increasingly been used in lawsuits and may be subject to discovery.  (The definition for discovery in the legal sense means ‘the compulsory disclosure, by a party of an action, of relevant documents referred to by the other party’.)  The issues surrounding social media and lawsuits will continue to be a hotly debated subject in the courtrooms for decades to come and the law regarding social will likely continue to change.  This blog will provide a basic review of some cases involving the discovery of social media posts and how this can impact your case.

For a long time, the use of social media was associated with youth.  Initially, social medial was almost exclusively used by the 15-25 age group.  Statistics published in 2015 show this is no longer the case.  It is believed there is approximately 154 million users of social media. While 28.3% of users are 18-24, the largest group, 35.3% of users are between the age of 25-34.   Nearly as large of a group are users aged 35-44 with 29% of the market.  While those 65+ only made up 14.6% of users it has been noted that every year the amount of users in this age category is growing.  Of the many social media platforms that exist, Facebook continues to have the lion’s share of users.  A basic understanding of social media and lawsuits is therefore beneficial to everybody since nearly everybody is using some form of social media.

United States courts are not yet in agreement regarding the rights of privacy guaranteed individuals versus the rights of the attorneys who may request social media content during the discovery process of a legal matter. This issue continues to be debated in different types of cases such as personal injury law, employment law, criminal law and especially in family law.

It is not surprising that during the mudslinging that occurs in family law court that the unflattering social media content of an ex-spouse is often requested to be allowed to be brought before the judge. However, many may wonder why in a simple personal injury claim, would any insurance company or their attorney want a person to produce the content of their social media sites?

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