Why Your Lawyer Should Be a Social Media Expert

By Rice Divorce Team | June 25, 2015

In many respects, social media is an area in which the evolution of technology has outpaced the laws governing it. Platforms that often broadcast user generated content combined with copyrighted material (e.g. Periscope, Facebook, and Snapchat), bring up some of the most vexing questions in the areas of freedom of speech and intellectual property law. However, in this seemingly endless parade of new social networks and innovative business models it’s easy to lose sight of the big picture. Working for Larry Rice, has afforded me ample opportunity to contemplate the very real tradeoff between connectivity and privacy.

All relevant evidence is admissible in a court of law, and relevant evidences is anything having any tendency to make the existence of any fact that is of consequence to the determination of an action more probable or less probable than it would be without it. In a family law matter, social media can produce that smoking gun evidence to win a divorce or custody case. It can be used by a litigant to provide evidence of state of mind, evidence of communication, evidence of time and place, and evidence of action. Perhaps equally significant, it can create or destroy credibility with a court. For example, it’s probably not good for a person trying to convince a court they aren’t making a lot of money to be simultaneously bragging that they are independently wealthy on their online dating profile. It is also important to remember that while a husband and wife may have gone their separate ways, that doesn’t necessarily mean their Facebook friends and twitter followers have done the same.