The courts are closed and person to person mediations are stayed, being reschedule, or off-calendar. To help lawyers and their clients get cases settled, my firm is now offering “NO CONTACT” live video mediations and settlement conferences. Get all the info at MediationLawyer.live
Robert Mueller is Examining Trump’s Tweets in the Obstruction Inquiry
This is fascinating to me.
The fact of the matter is that “content” shared on Twitter and other social media platforms can be used as evidence in criminal and civil cases. I’m here to tell you, right now, that Trump’s tweets will be used as evidence in the Mueller case.
As a consulting expert to the book, “Effective Introduction of Evidence in California- Chapter 54 Electronic and Social Media Evidence” by Julie Brook and put out by the Continuing Education of the California State Bar (CEB), I’m interested in seeing exactly how Mueller’s team handles the authenticity and foundation issues that are present with using social media content. I’m also looking forward to watching defense attorneys trying to get into evidence “alternative explanations” as to why Trump’s tweets mean something different than what they purport to say on their face.
Several years ago, I was able to use public postings on Facebook to impeach the testimony of a witness on the stand. The defendant denied while testifying in front of the jury, ever using certain derogatory terms referring to women. After about 20 minutes of direct examination, I pulled up his Facebook newsfeed and I walked him through each of the same derogatory words that he clearly used while sharing opinions on Facebook, that he had just denied ever using to the jury.
Doing this live in front of a jury was a powerful moment during the trial. Looking back, I believe using the witnesses own Facebook posts to show his true character and intentions helped me win the case and create new law in the State of California.
Here’s the deal. These are fascinating times and when it comes to the law, social media is creating new opportunities, and challenges, when prosecuting cases and representing clients. Be careful and understand just how powerful social media is in business, law and in court.
A well-known social media influencer went on live video and shared what he believed to be his honest and truthful concerns about the alleged wrongful conduct of another influencer and business owner. The intent behind his livestream was to do social good and protect his social media community.
Shortly after that, the subject of the live video filed a $5,000,000 defamation lawsuit alleging among other things, financial losses, emotional distress, and punitive damages.
My law firm was retained to step in and provide a legal defense in the case. We formally appeared in the action and filed an Answer denying all allegations. We also filed a cross-complaint against the other person alleging that he was the actual wrongdoer. In fact, this was one of the reasons behind our client doing the livestream in the in the first place.
We aggressively litigated the lawsuit for about nine months. We conducted written discovery, opposed motions, and took the depositions of all parties. A trial date was set for November.
From the very beginning, we took the position that our client simply shared true and accurate facts, did nothing wrong, and would never pay a dime to settle the case.
After much work and effort, we’re happy to report that several days ago, the entire $5M case was dismissed by the other side. Not a single penny was paid by our client to the other side who brought the lawsuit.
My client and I believe the moral of this true story is never to be afraid to stand up for your rights. If you’ve done nothing wrong, draw a line in the sand and use the law to protect yourself, your family, your business and your community.
Having said that, another reminder for our social media community is to avoid putting yourself in this situation in the first place. Yes, not looking the other way and doing the right thing to protect others is always the right thing to do. But when it’s time to take action, please be careful how you go about doing things. My recommendation is that if you have a legal concern, don’t take things into your own hands. Instead, reach out to experienced legal counsel to get things handled and resolved.
The good news for our social media influencer is that we were able to put our thirty years of experience to work to help make this entire case go away. It’s important to understand that each case is different and things don’t always work out this way. When cases do go to trial, you never know what a jury will do. For this reason, be careful before posting and sharing your legal concerns about other people or companies on the digital platforms.
When it comes to making statements about others on social media, truth is usually a valid defense. Understanding this fact, my recommendation is always to be careful with what you say and do on social media. Even when you have good intentions and tell the truth, your words may have long term good and bad consequences.
Today’s article by David Silverberg offers the reader an eye-opening preview to how VR is going to change how lawyers litigate and try their cases. David reached out to me when writing the article and I share thoughts and opinions throughout.
For example, “VR will definitely be the future of litigation in both court and jury trials,” says Mitch Jackson, an Orange County lawyer who often discusses tech trends in law at conferences and with media. “For one, it can create a more thorough environment for jurors to look at facts and to help them come to their final decision.”
New York catastrophic injury, wrongful death, and medical malpractice lawyer, John Fisher, shared this unexpected and extremely generous article at LawMarketing.com. After a long day of slaying dragons in court, it was good to get back to the office and see this in my email inbox. Thanks John!
Click here or on the picture to read John’s article