Articles Tagged with Social Media

Why would a defendant litigate over four and a half years, finish conducting discovery, tell a court that it’s ready for trial, and then – only then – ask a plaintiff to admit that he posted photographs on Facebook and other social media sites?

That is the question answered in a recent New York decision by Suffolk County Supreme Court Justice Hector D. LaSalle. The case, Guzman v. Farrell Building Co., et al, highlights the consequences for a defendant who wants access to a plaintiff’s Facebook account after filing a note of issue and certificate of readiness to confirm that it is ready for trial.

Plaintiff Samuel Guzman, a construction worker, sued defendant general contractor Farrell Building Co. in early 2006 under New York Labor Law §240(1) for injuries he reportedly sustained in a two-story fall while at work building a home in the Hamptons. Cases filed under Labor Law § 240(1) impose strict liability against defendants found responsible for making sure that safety equipment is in place and operational in order to protect construction workers.

Four and a half years later, the GC informed the court that it completed discovery. It did this by filing a note of issue and certificate of readiness for trial. Soon after submitting this filing, however, the GC claimed its investigator had now found “several hundred photographs of the plaintiff that were posted to Internet media websites such as Facebook,” and others, that it believed were helpful to its case. Continue reading →

Last week a New York trial judge denied a defense discovery request for a personal injury plaintiff’s current and historical Facebook, MySpace, and Twitter account information.

New York Justice George J. Silver of State Supreme Court in Manhattan reasoned that simply making conclusory allegations that a party’s “Facebook account is material and necessary to their [client’s] defense” is insufficient to justify disclosure of a litigant’s private Facebook records.

Then Justice Silver talked about a Facebook “fishing expedition”:
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The world has changed since the last time Jerry Brown was at the helm of the State of California. First elected to statewide office in 1970, Governor Brown is no stranger to campaigning throughout the “Golden State.” One major difference between the campaign that eventually brought him his first tenure as governor and his 2010 campaign was his use of social media.

Since President Barack Obama’s use of social media in his presidential campaign, many other prospective lawmakers have used social media as a way to get their message out to voters. Social media is becoming increasingly important as traditional marketing channels are becoming less effective. Printed newspaper ads, for example, are costly to run and do not reach the same number of people that a Facebook fan profile or Twitter profile have the possibility of reaching. Social media profiles are almost always free to create. However, most candidates have a paid staff member or team that creates, monitors and updates these profiles on behalf of the candidate.

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Happy New Year to all our Justia friends!

As Courtney wrote in her year-end review, one of the big trends of 2010 was the emergence of social media and its integration into the work of legal professionals. While I’m sure many of our readers may already have a blog, a Facebook page, LinkedIn Profile or Twitter account (to name but a few of these types of tools and platforms), many folks may still feel a bit unsure how this all works. For that latter group, we’re going to post articles on Onward throughout the year that provide basic social media “how-tos” and resource links to help you get started. This post is going to focus on Twitter and also briefly cover Justia’s Twitter community Legal Birds – a place we hope that those of you who are already in the social media mix might join up and participate in.

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