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For starters, I’m not a lawyer. I have no particular expertise in those matters. I’m not the one who’ll be fighting your case. I’m not the one who will be arguing your case. I’m not the one who will be getting compensated. I’m not the one making your case.
It’s like an auto insurance company that takes your car and claims you have some sort of medical condition that can be avoided by a simple change to a few details. It also covers any lost wages and expenses in the event of a lawsuit against your insurance company.
That’s right. It seems like the social media ecosystem is growing like the internet itself, and it’s becoming quite the headache for law firms. As the number and variety of social sites grow, so do the number of companies that collect, aggregate, and sell information about their users. It’s all legal now, so social media companies like Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr can now collect and sell information about their users’ posts.
Facebook, Twitter, and Tumblr are all major players in social media, and we’ve all been there. On a few occasions we’ve had clients who were not happy with the way they were being represented by us. In some cases it was because they were being represented by firms that were not well versed in the law. In others it was because they were representing businesses that were not well versed in the law.
While this isn’t new, the way we’re handling this is a little different. Instead of letting the information flow out in the open, we’re trying to keep it confidential. So, for example, if a client thinks that a client is being investigated by a law firm, they need to submit a full set of documents to us (such as affidavits and whatever else we might need to get the investigation closed).
This whole situation is similar to what happens in legal discovery, where attorneys are given documents to review, and they get in touch with the client and ask them if they think the documents are relevant. If the client says yes, then you have to give them the documents. Of course, with discovery, it isnt just the lawyers that are getting docs.
In a lot of cases, however, they are just not worth the time or expense of getting to trial. This is especially true if the information is not relevant to the case. When it comes to social media, as it is often, the information could be used to prove or disprove a claim. In other words, if someone posts something on Facebook, and it is relevant to the case, then it is worth investigating (although again, this depends on what the information is).
Lawyers, especially those in the social media and technology worlds, have taken a lot of flak lately for putting up their Facebook pages for people to read their personal opinions and reactions with. The people I talk to who say they have such a page are usually shocked when I tell them it does not have a Facebook page. Their lawyer has told them that they can just have that page in their own words and that it is not necessary to have a personal account.
Yes, people have a right to privacy. But the social media world has seen an explosion in the frequency of the posts. If it’s in the public record, it can be used against you. It’s one thing to post a personal opinion or reaction on Facebook without your lawyer getting involved. But to post it in the first place and then not have your attorney even get involved? It’s a big deal.
The truth is that you can be held responsible for the actions of another person even if you weren’t involved. If you were, it’s hard to argue that you’re not responsible. If you are, then you are responsible. The problem is that in the digital world, it is virtually impossible to prove who is or isn’t involved. It’s easy to say that someone posted something on Facebook or Twitter and then didn’t tell their lawyer what they posted.