Jason Bloom and Yonit Caplow in Bloomberg BNA: Litigators See Social Media as Gold Mine for Discovery of Admissible Evidence

02/12/2013

Nicole Thompson used her personal Facebook page to depict the kinds of simple pleasures common for someone in her early 20s. To most casual observers, the photographs and corresponding descriptions of Thompson swimming, dancing, bowling, caring for pets, and socializing with friends were unremarkable.

But these depictions of the young Nevada woman’s life recently caught the attention of a team of litigators representing TRW Automotive U.S. LLC. Thompson had brought a $61 million negligence and product defect lawsuit against their client, one of the largest automotive supply firms in the world...

Jason Bloom, a litigator in the Dallas office of Haynes and Boone LLP, agreed and noted that these unguarded moments take on new importance after a lawsuit is filed.

‘‘Social media content can be an extremely useful tool in litigation since it can provide insight into a party’s activities, communications, and state of mind at a less-guarded time before they envisioned being a party to a lawsuit,’’ Bloom told BNA. ‘‘Social media content can drive settlement, aid in the discovery of the true facts, and be useful at trial...’’

However, Yonit Caplow, a litigator in the New York office of Haynes and Boone, cautioned that the judicial views expressed in Thompson and Romano are by no means universal.

Caplow pointed to two recent cases in which judges denied the defendants’ expansive demands for access to their accusers’ social media accounts. In both situations, Caplow said the judges sympathized with the plaintiffs’ privacy concerns because the defendants’ requests were overly broad and failed to meet the relevancy requirements of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1), which governs the scope of discovery.

Excerpted from Bloomberg BNA, February 12, 2013. To view full article, click on the PDF linked below. 

PDF: Litigators See Social Media as Gold Mine for Discovery of Admissible Evidence

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