NP&W News
June 18, 2013

Social Media Pages As Evidence

Written by C. William (Bud) Clark

Have you considered the fact that what you post on a social media site may be introduced in a trial? Increasingly, trial lawyers investigate parties and witnesses to see if they have a social media page, and what , if anything , stated there might be relevant evidence to help decide an issue in a case. Frequently, family law disputes seek such evidence for there may be documented or suggested behavior that might lead one to believe a party will not be a fit person to have custody of a child. Employment attorneys look for evidence of self dealing or disloyalty to the company, or other derogatory messages concerning the business or the boss providing grounds for dismissal or termination. The list of examples can go on and on; just use your imagination.

Getting such pages admitted in to evidence may not be as easy as it appears at first. The Maryland Court of Appeals recently rendered a decision that a trial court improperly admitted some My Space pages because of insufficient authentication of the print out of a posting of a purported threat to a witness in a murder trial. For a thorough review of the law in this area , read Griffin v. State , No. 74, Sept. Term 2010, decided April 28, 2011.

This article can also be found on Completely E-Legal.

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