Everybody loves Facebook. And if it's not Facebook it’s YouTube. Social media has become the new way to communicate with your extended family and friends like never before. It's quick, easy and for the most part, fun.
However, there are many drawbacks to social media in the litigation context. Insurance companies and insurance defense attorneys now explore all social media to find information to use against plaintiffs in personal injury suits. People forget what they post on the social media sites. Clients put pictures of themselves having fun, talk about embarrassing topics and basically let it all hang out for the world to see. This is fertile ground for attorneys to gather information to impeach litigants.
I have used social media to investigate defendants in personal injury actions and found a lot of information, including admissions that I have been able to use against the defendant during the litigation process. Conversely, I require all my clients to allow my access to their social media profiles, so I may monitor it from time to time and filter what they put on the site. Ideally, I insist that my clients shut down their social media accounts, but for many this is too much to ask.
Remember, once it's out there it's out there for good. There are no take backs or second chances. Many cases have been lost on both sides of the courtroom by the client doing himself in by posting inappropriate material and photographs, and admitting wrongdoing through social media sites.
If you find yourself in an unfortunate situation where you are having to sue another person or are being sued, be very mindful that what you post on a social media site may become admissible evidence.