HOW FACEBOOK ALMOST RUINED A DIVORCE CASE
Aug. 18, 2009
I found this post from a blog by Tim Evans, a divorce lawyer in Hattiesburg, Mississippi. The direct link to the original post is: http://www.hattiesburgdivorcelawyer.com/2009/08/how-facebook-almost-ruined-a-divorce-case/
The other day, I had something happen to me that would have been devastating had it been discovered at trial. Another lawyer showed me a hard copy of someone’s Facebook page. This other lawyer had represented the opposing party in a recent divorce trial. What made this particular Facebook page important is that it was that of the “other person” with whom my client had been accused of committing adultery.
The first thing that stood out that this person, with whom my client stated they did not have a romantic relationship, had a photo hugging my client. The other thing that stood out was an announcement of their marriage just a few days after the trial. The real shocker was that a few days the other person announced they were having a baby with my client. That announcement was dated two days before the trial! You can imagine what would have happened at the trial
Let this serve as a lesson to any of you who are thinking about a divorce (actually, it can happen in any trial, not just a divorce). No matter on what grounds, if any, you are seeking a divorce, you need to perform an internet search on yourself and see what is out there. You should review any pages you may have on any social media sites such as Facebook and MySpace, Twitter, etc. for any information or photos that may be harmful. Because you may not understand what could be harmful, you may want to allow your attorney to access these pages so he or she can review them. You also want to review friends’ pages for the same sort of information and photos. about you.
I am reminded of a quote from a great criminal defense lawyer. I cannot remember the exact quote (or the lawyer’s name), so I will have to paraphrase. The lawyer was asked, “Just how many trials have you won in your career?” He replied, “I would have won all of them if my clients had just kept their mouths shut.” The moral: No matter how much work a lawyer puts into a trial, it can all be ruined by what seems to be a harmless act by the client.