Facebook has become ubiquitous in our country today. It’s a social phenomenon. Millions of American citizens, businesses, and groups all have a presence on the popular site (even I have a page! Feel free to friend me!). However, many of us are now discovering that Facebook can also be a liability when used inappropriately.
I thought about this when I came across a story about the removal of a juror from a criminal case in Michigan. Apparently, Hadley Jons wrote on her Facebook page that it’s “gonna be fun to tell the defendant they’re guilty.” Of course, jurors are strongly warned not to discuss a criminal case they are deciding (much less post a comment about it on a social forum). Jons has already been removed from the case and may face contempt of court charges.
As far as my practice is concerned, I also inform my clients that they should not discuss the details of their lawsuit with anyone else. The reason is because if those types of comments got back to the defense, they could be used against my client in court.
Obviously, if such comments appeared on a Facebook page, anyone in the world could potentially see them (in fact, in the Michigan case the inappropriate material was discovered by the son of one of the defense lawyers). Depending on the exact nature of the comments, any defense lawyer could either use them as evidence to erode my case or portray my client as hostile, vengeful, or boastful in front of a jury.
If you have been wronged by someone else and think that filing a lawsuit might help, feel free to call or email me and we’ll set up a free consultation. But whatever you do, don’t let loose lips sink your case before I get a chance to argue it.