As we’ve noted before, being Facebook friends with lawyers and judges can have all kinds of unexpected ethical implications. Now, it could get you served with legal summons.
Social media is becoming increasingly important to the practice of law. A proposed bill in Texas would allow defendants to be served notice of a lawsuit through social media sites. And after failing to subpoena individuals located in India, a court granted the FTC the right to leave to serve additional pleadings and motions via email and Facebook.
Let’s face it- mail, process servers, and hand delivery are dying communications mechanisms. Social media will be just one of the vehicles courts embrace in order to deliver legal documents. That’s why archiving social media is more important than ever- it’s not just a regulatory concern for many industries, but is increasingly a central piece of litigation.
Social Media Ethics
For lawyers, the ABA Ethics Requirements already compel many firms to preserve social media content. According to the most recent Fulbright and Jaworski Litigation Trends Survey, almost one-fifth of all corporate attorneys report that in the previous year their companies had to preserve or collect data from an employee’s personal social media account.
In addition, 13 percent of all litigators have had to produce, as part of discovery, electronic information stored on a social media site. If courts continue to embrace social media as a distribution mechanism, it’s just another reason why attorneys and their clients should be keeping an archive of their social media communications.