Savvy litigators care about social media. Or at least they should care about social media.
From employment to criminal cases, popular media coverage and court opinions have already demonstrated that social media may be relevant in a wide variety of litigations. The value of social media as a tool in the evidence arsenal is becoming clearer to many litigants, counsel, judges, and even juries.
But I still run across a fair number of litigators—even after my social media presentations—who consider the topic interesting but totally irrelevant to the work they do. By telling real-life stories of social media that tanked a litigator’s case, I hope to change their minds.
History is the best teacher. So with the help of my fellow tech-friendly attorney Ernie Svenson, I’ve decided to share stories of litigations, attorneys, and clients affected by inexperience, bad behavior, or simple carelessness involving social media. Some of these people weren’t savvy enough with social media and e-discovery to “cover their tracks.” Others exercised bad judgment with the information they posted for the world to read—and paid for it in litigation. Finally, we’ll share stories of current litigation disputes and practices that are testing the bounds of the public/private information divide and ownership disputes over social media accounts. Social media plays a primary role in all of these cases.
We hope these stories, which we reveal in this Lawyer2Lawyer podcast, inspire you to roll up your sleeves and continue to learn about topic. It’s difficult to search, collect, and use social media in litigation unless you have an understanding of each social media outlet’s culture, the way it’s built and organizes information, and how it can be preserved and harvested in a defensible manner. Or, you can hire, empower, and oversee people who will bring that expertise and know-how to your team. But someone on the litigation team should understand social media and how it can be used effectively in litigations. Otherwise, you may hear about your story in our next podcast.