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HOW WE HANDLE OUR CLIENTS BEING ON A SOCIAL NETWORK SUCH AS FACEBOOK, LINKEDIN, MYSPACE, AND TWITTER

The reality is that most of our clients are on a social networking site. They share information about all aspects of their lives on these sites. We know that if our client’s case goes into litigation that all of these social network postings will become “discoverable” to the defense. This means they will learn of these postings. Information can be uncovered with just a click of a button. Facebook, which is now host to over 500,000,000 active users, allows people to have a profile that includes information such as their birthday, home town, relationship status, sexual orientation, email address, education, activities, interests and favorite website. Once a user has created a profile, they can become a “friend” with other users, post messages on their profile wall, post messages on others’ walls and post pictures. Recently, members’ personal information was made available by Facebook to companies that have a special relationship with Facebook. Members were not told. There is no complete privacy on Facebook or other social networking sites regardless of the privacy settings.

All of our clients are repeatedly told that their expectation of privacy is undercut by posting information on an online social networking site that can be seen by others, even if the information is restricted.

We tell our clients and the truth is that anything they have posted or will post on a social networking site may end up in the hands of the defense. You must check the privacy settings on your profile and adjust them to prevent unwanted viewers from seeing your posts. Do not post anything to your profile that discusses your lawsuit and your injuries.

Make sure that none of your postings include any photographs (uploaded by you or any of your friends) of you performing any physical activities at all. We do not want the defense to show these postings to undercut or undermine your claims of activities that you can or cannot do because of the accident.

Do not accept (friend) invitations from people you do not know. You never know who they are, and they could always be someone trying to obtain negative information on you concerning your lawsuit.

Review your friend list. If you do not know someone on the list, remove that person.

Our aim is to minimize any disclosure of any information that could cause harm to our client’s case and could aid the defense.

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