Whether it’s Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or any other platform, social media impacts us all in one way or another. In fact, research shows that 79% of Americans are active on some form of social media. So how does this information relate to litigation and depositions?
Two words: Witness Research.
People tend to openly share information with their followers via social media, which makes it a great tool for opposing counsel to use to find out information about your witness. Here we’ve compiled a few social media tips to share with your witnesses that will help them protect their information from being used against them in court:
- Think before you post.
Social media is a record of where you’ve been, what’s on your mind and what you’re doing. That’s why it’s important to think before you post. If you’ve posted something that relates to the case, opposing counsel can try to use it as evidence. Even the posts that you’ve liked in the past can be linked back to you. So, before you post, comment or like anything, always think about whether it could have an adverse impact on the case at hand.
- Make all accounts private.
During litigation, it’s best to switch your social media accounts to private. This makes it more difficult for opposing counsel to search for evidence, and it prevents you from receiving unwanted messages or comments from others while you’re involved in litigation.
- Don’t accept friend requests.
With your accounts set to private, followers will now have to request to follow you. We recommend not accepting friend requests from anyone that you don’t know. Always remember that it’s easy for someone to create a fake account in an attempt to collect information from your posts, so err on the side of caution.
- Grant your legal team access.
If your legal team requests to follow your social media accounts, let them. By doing so, they can audit what you’ve posted in the past and notify you if anything should be removed. Depending on the case, this may or may not be necessary; yet, it’s better to be safe than sorry.
Social media is a powerful tool that can be used for or against you. Utilizing these guidelines can help protect your witnesses from unwanted social media research, which, in turn, sets you up for a smoother case.
Another key element in conducting a smooth deposition is hiring a quality court reporter. At Elite, our experienced court reporters are highly qualified at conducting professional and accurate reporting services. Whether it’s in-person or online, our team is here to serve you. To schedule one of our court reporters for your next deposition, click here.