If you are involved in any form of litigation, Facebook can be your friend and your enemy. It can be used to find information on the other party. The bad news is that to the other person, you are the other party. Here are some Facebook tips for use during litigation.
- Do not add people that you do not know to Facebook. Facebook is great for meeting new people and reconnecting with old friends. Unfortunately, you need to realize that things on your Facebook page can be offered as potential evidence. It's important that you know exactly who is on your friends list. Remove people associated or possibly associated with the other party.
- Realize that Facebook is a public forum. Facebook is a free and public forum. It's even considered public if you lock your account down. The Internet is a public forum and when we post things for people to see, we don't have as much privacy as we would like to think. Facebook's Terms of Service will tell you that.
- Do not talk about your legal situation. Facebook should not be used to discuss your legal case. Again, it is a public forum. Do not discuss your legal strategies or what your attorney suggested as a course of action. Do not bad mouth the other party. Do not discuss things that experts have said regarding your case. Exercise your Fifth Amendment right to silence.
- Do not correspond or try to send friend requests to others involved in the case. This can include other attorneys, witnesses, and the judge. If you are contacted by any of those individuals, then let your attorney know ASAP.
- Do not disparage the other party or people involved. This ties directly in to number two and number three. It's a frustrating time, but Facebook should not be the place where you air your frustrations.
- Turn your settings to friends only. Go under your Facebook settings and turn off anything that can be seen by the public. This includes photos, statuses, wall postings, and your personal information. Do not make it easy for the other side to find out what is posted on your profile. You may consider disabling your profile until after the case.
- Turn on approved tagging. Go under settings and make use of the option of approving anything that you are tagged in or that is posted on your wall. Take down any photos of you that you would not want seen by a court.
- Take down inflammatory photos. It doesn't matter if the photos relate directly to the case or not. Take down any photos that you are tagged in or that are on your account that include participating in anything illegal. Do not upload photos of that nature. Anything you put on the Internet will remain forever. Just Google your name and click images. You may be surprised at the things you see.
If you would like more information about this topic or have general legal questions, please feel free to contact me at (973)949-3770 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org We answer legal questions on a daily basis and would be happy to discuss any issues or questions that you have with you. Offices in: New Jersey New York, Colorado & Puerto Rico. Affiliated throughout the country.