Why do Attorneys Always Say Don’t Talk About Your Case?
In criminal cases the reason should be obvious. Any statement made by a person of interest can be easily twisted around by prosecutors and used against the person. But in a civil case what’s the problem? There are many reasons never to talk about a case.
Social Media Postings & Civil LitigationConsider a Florida man embroiled in an employment case. He had been headmaster of a private high school and brought a claim when his contract was not renewed. He claimed his non-renewal amounted to age discrimination and retaliation under the state Civil Rights Act. The case settled and three of a series of settlement checks went out. The man's daughter posted on Facebook that her father "won" the case and alluded that the school could "suck it". Unfortunately, this breached a confidentiality agreement and an appeals court ordered the settlement money be paid back to the school
Confidentialiy Agreements: A Bad IdeaThink the above case was an extreme example? Not really. Insurance companies are insisting more and more that such non disclosure agreements be included in final settlements. As the above case demonstrates, courts will enforce them.
Don't Talk About Your Case. Before, During or AfterIn the beginning of a case, when facts are still being investigated, the highly charged atmosphere can be poisoned by unwitting talk about the case. The case discussed above shows that a settlement can be destroyed by computer postings. But early in the case with depositions pending, statements being made, insurance companies look around for any possible reason to deny or minimize a case. The best advice an attorney can give is "don't talk about your case."
Avid Temptation: Don't Be Your Own EnemyInsurance companies and their investigators have nothing better to do than spend hours investigating you and your case. If you really think your "privacy settings" are effective, think again. What you post creates a record about you. One of many examples of poor judgment that can wreck a personal injury case is posting about vacations, weekend fun and other recreational activity that an insurance company can in fact turn against you at a deposition or a trial to contradict claims of injury. You might think that you're going to settle, or that your lawyer is going to settle, so this will not happen to you. Understand that insurance companies will not settle cases, or at least not for what you might consider a fair settlement, if they think they have good ammunition to defeat your claim that you have been injured in an accident.