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Using Social Networking Websites In Family Law

January 5, 2011
Attorneys are increasingly using social networking sites to discover relevant information for use in trial preparation, i.e. depositions, as well as for use at trial as admissible evidence. Sites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and Twitter provide a wealth of personal information on the defendant or other witnesses in the cases.  However, just as the skilled attorney can use these sites to build a case against the other side, this skilled attorney should also caution his own client as to the risks of using social networking sites.
Clients should be advised to modify all passwords so that a spouse or family member is unable to create a false profile.  At the beginning of representation, attorneys should advise clients to stop using or adding information to any social networking sites that they had been using.  Clients could potentially change their privacy options so that only people they know can view their information.  The attorney must be careful, though, and not advise the client to remove any information from these sites that could be deemed relevant to the case.¿Removing such arguably relevant information could run afoul of spoliation.
Additionally, many clients use these sites for legitimate social connection, especially during highly emotional times when the client may not be as outwardly social as before.  But, this is clearly the worst time for a client to be venting his or her emotions on any social networking site.  Clients with children create extra problems as children may simply not care about a court order saying they cannot use these sites.  Violations of such orders will not work wonders for your client’s case.  And this is especially true if the child surfs the social networking sites and reads emotionally-charged posts that the child’s parent - your client - has posted.
Just as attorneys request other confidential information from their clients, such as social security numbers, attorneys should also request access to the client’s social networking sites.  This allows an attorney to review the available information to be able to determine if anything could be problematic.  Due to the modern acceptance of open, online sharing of social information, clients sometimes have a difficult time understanding that the information posted on these sites can be used as evidence in a divorce case.  By explaining the ramifications to them, hopefully they will gladly give you access to their social networking sites.
Simon W. Johnson
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June 26, 2017
If your loved one has died as a result of the negligence of a business, you may have the right to pursue a wrongful death lawsuit. Discuss your options with a Cleveland Ohio wrongful death attorney.
June 26, 2017
If you have been discriminated against on the basis of your age, it is important to call Beachwood Ohio age discrimination attorneys to determine what legal options are available.
June 26, 2017
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June 26, 2017
If you have suffered a catastrophic or permanent injury such as loss of a limb, it is important to consult with a Cleveland Ohio catastrophic injury attorney to determine if the injury may have occurred as a result of the negligence of a person or business.
June 26, 2017
If your employer has wrongfully classified you as an independent contractor, you may have legal remedies available to you including, but not limited to, instituting a class action lawsuit if you are among many other people wrongfully classified as independent...

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PDC Building
3659 Green Road, Suite 325
Beachwood, Ohio 44122
Phone: (440) 477-6075
Fax: (216) 292-4615
Fax: (440) 756-1334
swj@swjlawoffice.com
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