Serving Southwest Washington and the South Puget Sound with over 25 years legal experience.

The Dangers of Social Media

We all love our cell phones and mobile devices.  The temptation to share what we are doing or what is going on in our lives with our friends and family is huge because we have a great need to feel connected with others.  Life is very busy and messy, but social media allows us stay in touch and maintain ties with our friends and family.

Posting about events that have happened in your life, or tweeting about your bad day can make everything better.  Social media allows you to connect to your support system and get their congratulations when something good happens or hear their rants in support when you’ve been treated unfairly.

On a normal day posting or tweeting about something that happened to you has no downside.  So, most of us don’t think twice about posting pictures showing where we’ve been or what we’ve been doing.  When you are involved in a legal battle, however, posting on social media can break your case and keep you from winning in court.

Being involved in a legal battle is like having a root canal with no anesthesia (to borrow my husband’s description of it).  It raises your blood pressure and makes you want to howl at the moon and spout off to friends and family about what is going on, how awful the process is, and how you were wronged and are being treated unfairly by the other side.

Our first knee-jerk reaction would be to post about our day on social media, explaining that we’ve been in depositions and the other attorney was horrible to us, or that the witness being deposed said something helpful to our case or that you think your attorney may have found a key witness, and so on.  Non-public information you share with your attorney is protected, but if you share that information it is no longer protected and the other side would be able to use it against you.  So, your rule of thumb should be do not post anything about your case on social media.

Also, be careful which friend invitations you accept while you are involved in a legal battle.  If an opposing party, opposing attorney, witness, juror, or judge were to friend you on social media it could cause a mistrial.  A mistrial means that you would have to start the whole legal battle over in front of a new judge which could significantly increase the costs of the case and make it harder to win.

The moral of the story here is that if you are involved in a legal battle, don’t post anything on social media that is related to your battle because it is dangerous.  Anything you say or post can be found by the other side and used against you.  You don’t want to help your opponent make their case!

But don’t just take my word for it.  Click on the links below and see what other attorneys and news sites have to say on the topic:

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