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Litigation Implications of Social Media

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The impact of social media continues to grow in litigation. Social media is becoming increasingly more popular in society. Social media is important for companies to utilize for advertising and marketing to allow businesses to stay competitive. Various sites like Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, Instagram, Flicker, LinkedIn, YouTube and the like provide companies the opportunity to connect with millions of people. However, they simultaneously create legal risks that can range from bad public relations to brand confusion. Social media is also used by many people during their free time to make various posting about all aspects of life.

In litigation, lawyers are using social media to screen jurors, jurors use social media to post about cases they are sitting in, judges are using social media to make sure jurors are not using it, people use social media in general to offer legal advice on matters in which they have no experience, and jury consultants are following social media to give advice on trial strategy. Social media is paving the way to new litigation strategy.

Social media implicates considerable privacy concerns, allowing people to learn the most intimate information about one another. Posted content may be available to family, potential employers, school admission officers, romantic contacts, and others. Even if the content is removed from the social media site it may still continue in cyberspace. Further, once litigation is pending or reasonably foreseeable, there is a duty to preserve evidence. The material can be taken down off the social media website, but must be preserved. This means that even if a post is removed, it still must be maintained and produced if requested in discovery.

People should always keep their social media privacy settings turned on high or maximized. People should avoid posting on public pages. People should avoid posting information that is that is not truthful or misleading.

However, if suit is filed against you or if you are contemplating suit, you should obtain counsel from an experienced New Jersey litigation attorney to discuss your options related to your social media site. We can provide advice regarding what information must be preserved to avoid spoliation of evidence. We can also provide advice about information may be kept private and what information may be taken down. To learn more about what we can do, please contact our New Jersey lawyers by e-mail or at (973) 890-0004.

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