The article arises out of a trend by litigation lawyers representing insurance companies to seek access to injury victims’ social media accounts such as Facebook. Milsop was quoted explaining how such discovery is highly invasive and should not be allowed by the Courts.
He explained, “The whole Facebook thing should not be granted in a general matter. To me it’s like telling someone they can walk around your house and see what pictures you have hanging around and read your love notes and Christmas cards.”
Milsop was interviewed by the Law Weekly after the issue of discovery of social media content was raised by the Defendant in one of his cases. His client, the plaintiff, maintained several social media accounts, and the defense attorney wanted the client to turn over her pasfswords to these accounts.
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Milsop resisted and forced the defendant’s attorney to file a discovery motion which was heard by a judge. Milsop filed a brief and presented oral argument before the judge. In the end, the judge held that the defense could review only one of Plaintiff’s accounts because her public postings on that site met a threshold needed to justify such discovery.
Importantly however, the judge refused to allow the defense attorney to obtain the client’s password. Instead, the judge held that the defendant could only view the social media site with Milsop and his client present.
The Law Weekly article also discussed a similar case in which the judge allowed a defense attorney to access such an account without making a threshold showing and without any safeguards in place.
The existence of this issue highlights the fact that if you have a claim pending, you should consult with your attorney about the use of social media.