Friday, July 18, 2014

Your social media page can be used against you in court

Your social media page can be used against you in court

Lawyers May Advise Clients to ‘Take Down’ Facebook Posts, but Must Preserve Deletions

Bloomberg News | July 16, 2014

Ethics rules do not prohibit an attorney from instructing a client to “delete information that may be damaging from the client's [Facebook] page,” the Philadelphia bar's ethics committee concluded in a July opinion.

But a lawyer who makes such a suggestion must “take appropriate action to preserve the information in the event it should prove to be relevant and discoverable,” the panel cautioned.

The opinion represents one of the first attempts by a legal ethics panel to sort through the ethical questions that arise when attorneys learn about information on social media websites that could damage a client's case.Nevertheless, a growing body of case law indicates that judges are increasingly likely to admit social media communications into evidence during litigation, and to sanction parties and lawyers who wrongfully conceal such materials.