This week a case in Florida has been getting a lot of attention when a state appeals court last week threw out an $80,000 settlement between a Miami prep school and a former headmaster. The reason? The former headmaster’s daughter boasted about it to her friends on Facebook.
“Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver,” she wrote. “Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.” The daughter’s excitement at her father’s big legal win is understandable, although her sense of tact, decorum, and common sense are terrible. According to news reports, the Third District Court of Appeals has overturned the $80,000 judgement to Dana Snay’s father for violating the terms of a confidentiality agreement that was part of the judgement.
We’ve already talked about the fact that Judges, lawyers, and jurors have to watch what they say on Facebook. As this ruling indicates, social media activity from ANYONE even peripherally involved in a case is potentially discoverable. The cost to monitor and archive social media is negligible. Social media monitoring is now a part of any eDiscovery process. It must be treated just like any other type of digital record, and there is no reason why lawyers should not set up an archive of web and social media content as part of most matters. If you need any more evidence, talk to Dana Snay.