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Why You Should Never Use Social Media During a Lawsuit

Why You Should Never Use Social Media During a Lawsuit

If you’re pursuing legal action, you may want to take a break from social media. While scrolling and posting can be a fun way to blow off steam during a stressful situation, one wrong move could jeopardize your lawsuit.

Social media provides a permanent, public record of your activities. Nothing you post, share, or send to someone is confidential.

Photos and Posts Can Be Used As Evidence

No matter what kind of legal matter you’re in the middle of, your online activity can be legally discovered and misinterpreted in court. If you are going through a personal injury lawsuit, for example, and you post a photo of your laundry or another mundane activity, opposing counsel can argue that your injury has not had a severe effect on your everyday life.

Similarly, a photo or post about a vacation or expensive gift could cause doubts about your financial situation in a divorce case and jeopardize your access to child support or spousal maintenance.

Overall, anything you say or show about your case or your life online could be twisted and used against you in court, so you’re safer if you avoid posting altogether.

Watch What Your Friends Post, Too

Even if you stop posting for the duration of your lawsuit, you need to be careful about your online appearance. Make sure your friends know about your legal situation and refrain from posting photos of you, or even posts about the activities you do together.

A casual happy hour could quickly become ammunition in a child custody dispute; a smile or a signed cast could weaken an argument for pain and suffering.

Don’t Write It Down Unless You Want It Read in Court

The rule above is truly the key to using technology during a lawsuit. In addition to social posts, emails and texts can be brought in as evidence during a trial.

If you need to vent about your legal trouble, meet your friends in private and do so face-to-face or over the phone.

Forbes puts it succinctly:

Don’t post, Tweet, or share anything that you wouldn’t say in person to the whole world, to be remembered forever.”

For more advice from Forbes, read Here's How Social Media Can Be Used Against You In Court.

What If I’ve Made a Questionable Post?

We are all human, and sometimes, we mess up. If you’ve made a social post or sent a text message and you’re worried it will be used against you, let your lawyer know immediately.

Do not try to delete the post or any other part of your online presence. Because online behavior can be brought in as evidence, this could be deemed the destruction of evidence or build distrust in court.

If your attorney knows about something that presents you in an unfavorable light, however, they can get in front of it and help ensure it does not jeopardize your case.

For now, simply log out, ask your friends for increased privacy, and work with an experienced law firm to build your case.

Clawson & Clawson, LLP Is Here to Help!

We didn’t share this information to scare you, but rather to make sure you have every tool for success in your case. If you need legal advice or help to strengthen your claim, our attorneys are here for you.

To put over 100 years of combined legal experience on your side, please call us at (719) 602-5888 or request a free consultation online.

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