JASON ATCHLEY : EDISCOVERY : SOCIAL MEDIA AND EDISCOVERY UPDATE  

 

jason atchley

Social Media and E-Discovery Update

It’s best to brush up on the discovery of social media before you go dredging Facebook wall posts.

Marlisse Silver Sweeney, Law Technology News

April 01, 2014    |0 Comments
Maksym Yemelyanov – Fotolia
Before lawyers go requesting—and searching—through two years of Facebook wall posts, it would be best to brush up on where the courts stand with respect to social media and e-discovery. A recent article on the Socially Aware blog by Reema Abdelhamid and J. Alexander Lawrence does just that. The authors explore “various approaches taken by courts to address social media-related discovery challenges.”
The judgments range from completely quashing broad requests to reviewing sites in camera, the authors note. More than once courts have said “no” when a party demanded broad discovery from social media sites for failure to show relevance to the dispute. Abdelhamid and Lawrence use the example in Ford v. United States,where the U.S. District Court of Maryland rejected the government’s request for a broad social media discovery plan. “The court denied the motion to compel, holding that the government’s request was not narrowly tailored” and didn’t describe the categories of material sought, they explain.
Other courts show more lenience, and even when judges deny a request, they allow the party to renew a motion if circumstances change. In Root v. Balfour, an appellate court left a case open for further developments, e.g., social media information may be discoverable in the future even though, at that point, it was deemed not relevant, explain Abdelhamid and Lawrence.
In Maihoit v. Home Depot, a court didn’t quash a discovery request for social media, but severely narrowed it, Abdelhamid and Lawrence say. The defendant demanded a broad array of social media information, such as profiles, postings or messages that showed the mental state of the plaintiff, pictures and conversations. The court limited the demands to social networking between the plaintiff and Home Depot employees only.
And in some contexts, courts opt for in-camera review. In a class action in Colorado, a court ordered the production of social media content for a private review to determine what was relevant.
Attorney Marlisse Silver Sweeney is a freelance writer based in Vancouver. MarlisseSilverSweeney@gmail.com. Twitter: @MarlisseSS. LTN: @lawtechnews.
 

Read more: http://www.lawtechnologynews.com/id=1396359568030/Social-Media-and-E-Discovery-Update#ixzz2xpJt4Z8C

 

 
 
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