Two New Jersey defense attorneys are currently facing ethics charges for using Facebook to obtain information about a plaintiff in their case. As I have mentioned in a past blog post, it is never a good idea to post any information or pictures regarding your accident or lawsuit on any social media site, regardless of how stringent you believe your privacy settings may be.
The defense attorneys obtained conversations, photos and video about the plaintiff when their paralegal “friended” the plaintiff on Facebook. They intended on using this information against the plaintiff at trial.
As social media has exploded in recent years, it is new territory for the courts and bar associations. New Jersey currently has no case law or ethics opinion issued by the Office of Attorney Ethics regarding “friending” people for litigation purposes. In fact, only three bar groups in the entire country have deemed this type of “friending” to be unethical.
If you are involved in an accident and/or a lawsuit, do not post any information, photos or video about your injuries, property damage or your physical limitations. Even more importantly, do not accept any new “friend” requests, as they could be coming from a source that is only seeking to hurt your case.