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Civil Litigation Criminal Law Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Pretrial Matters Social Media

The Do’s and Don’ts of Building Your Case with Social Media Info

The following is a guest blog post by Renee Galente Stackhouse. Renee is the founder and trial lawyer at Stackhouse, APC, where she focuses on plaintiff’s personal injury and military defense in San Diego. She is the immediate past President of California Women Lawyers, President of the CWL Foundation, Chair of the CLA SSF Section, and sits on the Board of the San Diego County Bar Association.

You would be surprised how easy it is to find public information on the Internet. Or maybe you wouldn’t, given the many stories of jobs lost and cases jeopardized by social media posts. Using Google and social media searches on parties and witnesses can be very helpful to your case, but make sure you don’t overstep.

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Evidence Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Social Media Trial Strategy

Don’t Let Fake News Cynicism Get in the Way of Your Social Media Evidence

The following is a guest blog post by Michelle Sherman. Michelle is the author of Winning with Social Media—A Desktop Guide for Lawyers Using Social Media in Litigation and Trial, a 2016 publication from the National Institute for Trial Advocacy. She has tried civil and criminal cases and is currently an in-house corporate legal counsel. She also is an adjunct professor at the University of Southern California Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism.

For anyone who likes to wake up on a Sunday by reading the newspaper, it’s a sad day that legitimate news organizations are under attack and the term “fake news” has become associated with them. Beyond the personal implications, this may also have negative effects on your law practice. More skeptical jurors may mean that you have to work harder to authenticate documentary evidence, particularly social media evidence.

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New Lawyers Practice of Law Social Media Starting a Law Practice

Using Video to Brand Yourself and Connect with Clients

The following is a guest blog post by Nicole Abboud, Esq.  Ms. Abboud is a Millennial speaker, former practicing attorney, producer and host of The Gen Why Lawyer Podcast, and founder at Abboud Media—a video branding and marketing agency for lawyers.

Your potential clients are online, searching for answers to their legal concerns by consuming digital content. Videos are one way they seek answers. In fact, with over 1 billion hours of YouTube videos watched per day and YouTube ranking as the second largest search engine on the web, it’s safe to say that video is a highly effective way of reaching potential clients.

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Civil Litigation Criminal Law Legal Topics Litigation Strategy Social Media Trial Strategy

Using Social Media to Research Prospective Jurors

Given the decreasing time attorneys have for conducting voir dire, it can be very useful to investigate jurors with publicly available background information. Simply running Google searches can reveal an enormous amount of information about a potential juror in a short amount of time. This public information often will come from social media sources. As Ben Hancock reported in his article for Law.com, “social media profiles can present a trove of data points for jury selection…[but] researching jurors online while keeping on the right side of the judge and local ethics rules is hardly a straightforward exercise.”

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Civil Litigation Legal Topics New Lawyers Practice of Law Social Media

Protect Clients from Themselves

social_138282233A legal matter may be the most important thing happening in your client’s life, but you have to warn your client to avoid conversations about it on social media. Whatever they say online—no matter how innocently intended—can be found and used to undermine their position. Here are three things to tell clients about online communications.

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Civil Litigation Legal Topics New Legal Developments Social Media

Service of Process via Twitter?

thinkstockphotos-500091191For a judgment to be entitled to full faith and credit, the defendant must be served in a way that’s reasonably calculated to give actual notice of the proceedings and an opportunity to be heard. Milliken v Meyer (1940) 311 US 457, 463. But how do you serve a defendant you can’t find? Personal service and service by mail are obviously off the table. You’re left with service by publication. Newspapers were the standard for this method, but Twitter and other social media platforms may be the modern version of the local paper.

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Evidence Legal Topics Social Media

Snapchat as Evidence

snapchat-picSeveral years ago we told you to consider Facebook postings as evidence in legal cases. This is still true, but now there are many more social media platforms to consider. Snapchat in particular has become a fertile source of evidence not to be overlooked.

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Evidence Legal Topics Social Media

A Photo Is Still a Photo, Even on Social Media

ThinkstockPhotos-503803495A recent case made headlines simply because it involved Instagram. Don’t be fooled by the hype—new technologies don’t always require new law. A photo is a photo regardless of where it appears, and its admissibility is based on the same law whether it’s a photo taken on a camera or one posted on the hottest new social media website.

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Elder Law Estate Planning Legal Topics Social Media

Protecting Digital Assets: 6 Steps to Take on Death or Incapacity

ThinkstockPhotos-174474186It used to be enough for a fiduciary and her attorney to simply search through a decedent’s or incapacitated person’s papers in his or her workplace and at home, watch the mailbox for a 90 day cycle, and review tax returns and account statements. Things are more complicated now and a fiduciary must take several more immediate steps with regard to digital assets.

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Divorce Law Family Law Legal Topics New Legal Developments Social Media

Divorce Papers Served by Facebook: Cold or Practical?

ThinkstockPhotos-465393314Calling social media “the next frontier in the developing law of the service of process over the internet,” a New York judge has allowed service of divorce papers via Facebook private messaging. This is either a cold invasion of one’s social media space or a practical solution to a service problem. Either way, it’s something few recipients will “Like.”