Sunday, October 3, 2010

Can you face your own Facebook?

A New York state court has ordered that a plaintiff give over to the defendant specific authorization to access her Facebook and Myspace accounts. The court has ordered that she disclose both current content, archived content, and deleted content.

The defendant's motion requesting the disclosure was based on deposition testimony that was at odds with the public portions of the plaintiff's Facebook page. She alleged injuries that limited her to staying indoors. But her publicly posted pictures showed her smiling and out-and-about, and not in her home. Imagine that!

I love this decision, as a parent and a lawyer! I've been telling kids I know and coach, for years, that nothing is private, and every disclosure creates impressions and attitudes. At the office, my law clerks and paralegals search all social media for background on every lawyer and witness we deal with in a case. We've caught more than one witness sleeping at the wheel!