Facebook : Watch yourselves!!

Be diligent when you are online. According to Business Insider, a Virginia lawyer’s client won $8.5 million in a wrongful death suit, including $6.3 million for the death of his wife.

The victory was short-lived as the defendant discovered irregularities in the plaintiff Facebook account.The plaintiff had uploaded pictures showing him at a party which questioned his despair over his loved one’s death. The lawyer advised his client to delete his personal Facebook because it painted him in a negative light. The defendant was unhappy when it discovered that the plaintiff erased his Facebook page. The defendant took the appropriate action.

Upon hearing the defendant, the court decided that the defendant was entitled to relief. The court ordered the plaintiff to pay $178,000 and the lawyer to pay $544,000 for “deceptive and obstructionist conduct”.

The lawyer has since left his partnership, the largest personal injury law firm in Virginia, and he is now facing a disciplinary hearing.

“There once was a time when digging skeletons out of the closet was a laborious task”, says Alan Schelew, LL.B. from monctonlawyer.com. “Today, the use of Facebook can be akin to nailing a skeleton on your front door.”

Facebook has become a tool of invaluable proportions for lawyers around the world and rightfully so. Every page, unless proven otherwise constitutes an admission. It is available for all to use as admissible evidence in most courts of justice. The lesson is very clear: be very careful of what you put on Facebook as it could come back to haunt you. Of equal importance, do not alter your Facebook page if it is subject to litigation disclosure