Data, Data, Everywhere.
There was a time when you didn’t have a cell phone. Digital cameras were bulky, expensive and by the time you booted up the camera, the moment was lost. But now, you can take a video, write a comment, tag your friends and tell the whole world about the fainting goats with a few taps on a screen.
But this isn’t a post about how you should take photos of the accident scene, you should know that by now. This post is about your social media account and its introduction into evidence during your trial.
The jury gets to see my 3:00 a.m. post about Taco Bell?
Maybe. Caselaw is changing all the time, and different jurisdictions have different rules, but generally, if it is relevant to the case a, it comes in and it definitely comes in if you allowed the general public to view it. In a Recent Case, the united states district court in Tennessee put it this way:
“[M]aterial posted on a ‘private Facebook page, that is accessible to a selected group of recipients but not available for viewing by the general public, is generally not privileged, nor is it protected by common law or civil law notions of privacy.”
But the court added a caveat. “Nevertheless, the Defendant does not have a generalized right to rummage at will through information that Plaintiff has limited from public view.”
I’m not saying that you would intentionally conceal information, but how many posts have you made in the past year? Past 5 years? Will you be able to tell your attorney about every time you mentioned something that might possibly affect your case?
When your in the middle of a lawsuit its hard to remember where you put your keys let alone that you posted an el Jefe filter photo of you smiling 3 weeks after a car accident. “Ladies and gentlemen, if he/she was in that much pain, how come they are making a duck face in this Instagram picture”
Just say no.
If your hurt, or in a lawsuit, posting on social media during your case may do more harm than good. Your words may be taken out of context and could destroy your case. Take a look at some examples.