No matter the circumstance, whether your legal case is of a business or personal matter, it isn’t a good idea to share the details online. It can be tempting to share every step of your journey, both good and bad, with your family, friends and online community. However, social media can be a double-edged sword for anyone with an open legal case. Oversharing could cause you to lose your case.
Social Media isn’t Private
When you’ve tuned into any courtroom drama or police show, there’s a good chance you’ve heard the Miranda rights – “Anything you say can and will be held against you in a court of law.” Unfortunately, for those who wish to share everything on social media, the same principle applies to posts and comments made online. Many mistakenly assume that “private” means posts are made in confidence. In reality, “private” simply means “not public.” Lawyers and court officials can still access the information, and your posts are considered public information that can be admissible as evidence. For example, if you have a pending personal injury lawsuit, but pictures are posted on social media showing you dancing at a party or otherwise participating in a rigorous physical activity, that material can be used against you in court.
It is not advisable to draw attention to any pending cases, in any capacity, online. If you do wish to post anything during the time of your pending case, keep in mind the risks. Remember that law enforcement officials can and will access the content. If it’s something you wouldn’t want to have brought up in court, then it’s best not to mention it on social media – private post or not.
Posts Can Be Used in Multiple Practice Areas
If you’re a small business owner making posts about your business, keep in mind that those posts can be used in multiple practice areas. While your current court case might be a trademark dispute, posts about your financial gains or annual income could be used in bankruptcy court in the future. Photos, text posts and videos can all be used now or years in the future as supplementary evidence.
Similarly, if you have a personal case (i.e. car accident, medical negligence, premises liability, etc.) and boast about how much you’re expected to get from your case, or otherwise mention it to the public, that can backfire as well.
What Can You Do?
While nobody wants to hear this advice, the best thing that you can do while you have an active court case is to stay away from social media entirely. Posting positive news, information about your in-court experience or sending an angry message can all come back to work against you in the future. You should avoid posting or talking about your case until it is closed. Even then, there is no harm in keeping things private.
Before You Head to Court, Call Mobley and Brown, LLP
If you want guidance throughout the business entity formation or employee hiring process, contact Mobley and Brown, LLP today. Our experienced legal team will work with you to meet your needs and set you up for long-term business success. Call us now at (410) 261-4952 or toll-free at (833) 355-9897.