Social Media Are Not Your Friend Pt. 1
Social media is a great tool for staying in touch with your family and friends, and for sharing photos and information. But if you become a party to a lawsuit, it’s not such a great thing – especially if you are sharing everything you are doing and everything you know.
How can social media be used?In Alabama, social media postings can be used to:
1. Prove that a plaintiff's injury claims were exaggerated in an automobile case.
2. Identify a defendant who is alleged to have broken into a home or shot a victim, especially if he bragged about it and posted photos about his actions.
3. Show in a worker's compensation case that a plaintiff's claim that he was no longer able to work was not true because he was still working.
ExampleAs a judge, I had cases that were resolved before the conclusion of the trial because one side or the other submitted Facebook posts which proved or disproved the facts in a case.
In fact, in one case, after one of the parties testified about an issue, we took a short break. During the break, that party pulled out his cell phone and was on Facebook posting things that were directly opposite to what was said on the stand. Before the break was over, the attorney for the other party had printed out a copy of the post. After showing it to the offending party's attorney, the parties decided to settle their case!
In my next blog, I will talk about the dos and don'ts for using social media when you are involved in a lawsuit (or expect to be).