Litigation and Social Networking Sites

Lawyers aren’t the quickest to adopt technology, but those of us that litigate have been using social network sites such as LinkedIn, MySpace, and Facebook to investigate witnesses or clients for some time. And we’re probably all familiar with the reports of Dr. Flea’s blogging of his own trial. But this week, there have been two good posts/articles on the use of social networking sites in litigation.

Yesterday, the National Law Journal had an article about using social networking and internet sites to help vet jurors. Those lawyers that have actually tried a case or two know that jurors are generally nervous and don’t want to talk during voir dire. Getting them to trust you and share their views and biases is an art. But not so on the internet. People are much more candid in their blogs or social networking profiles. The article has some great anecdotes of attorneys and consultants learning crucial information from relatively easy internet searches.

Also yesterday, Kevin O’Keefe noted that reporters from the Spokane Spokesman Review and the Idaho Statesman are covering a murder trial via Twitter. Twitter seems like the perfect vehicle to keep interested parties continually updated. The thing that impressed me was the list of groups following the Twitter feed. Several other media outlets are using the Twitter reporting to keep them up to date.

The real question is “where do we go from here?” I’m not the most tech savvy guy (though I do have LinkedIn and Facebook profiles), but it’s clear that social networking is going to have drastic impact, for better or worse, on how litigation progresses. For those of you smarter than me, I’d love to hear your thoughts on these implications.

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To Err is Human, Denying It May Not Be So Divine

I have often said that people often come to me not because they were harmed, but because of the way they were treated after they harmed. For example, a medical malpractice client may come because they can’t get a straight answer from the doctor. Or a person injured in an accident may come because they are treated poorly by the insurance adjuster.

The same holds true for legal malpractice cases. If a lawyer is upfront about his errors, then clients are often forgiving of errors. This week’s issue of the Massachusetts Lawyers Weekly has advice on what to do when one commits legal malpractice, and the article confirms my advice. The article writes:

Notify your client — While failing to report a potential claim to your carrier may result in a denial of coverage, failing to notify your client may subject you to bar discipline. Further, legal-malpractice statistics consistently confirm that former clients are less inclined to sue their lawyers over bad news if the lawyers come right out and share that bad news.

I guess it’s good for us that many lawyers refuse to do the right thing.

Posted on: August 9, 2008 | Tagged

We Are Back

Some of you may have noticed that the blog has been AWOL for the last few days.  Unfortunately, our internet provider moved over to new servers, and the blog didn’t make it.  I think we have the technical errors corrected, and we should be up and running back to normal.  Thanks for your patience.

To contact Austin Personal Injury Lawyer, Austin Personal Attorney, Austin Accident Lawyer, Austin Injury Lawyer Perlmutter & Schuelke, PLLC or to learn more about Austin Personal Injury visit

Schuelke Law maintains offices in Austin, Texas. However, our attorneys and lawyers represent clients throughout the state of Texas, including Dallas, Houston, San Antonio, Forth Worth, El Paso, New Braunfels, San Marcos, Kyle, Buda, Round Rock, Georgetown, Lockhart, Bastrop, Elgin, Manor, Brenham, Cedar Park, Burnet, Marble Falls, Temple and Killeen. By Brooks Schuelke

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