Is Facebook the new P.I.?
Once upon a time, in a land far away, but not so long ago, people were using private investigators to gather up dirt on their soon to be ex-spouse. Thanks to Facebook, the private investigation industry has taken a nosedive. Now you can sit in the privacy of your home, free of charge and find dirt on your spouse or ex-spouse through social media sites such as Facebook. If you are getting a divorce or even thinking about getting a divorce take a good look at your facebook page. Is there anything on there that you wouldn’t want your spouse, attorneys, or the judge to see?
Anything you say and do on Facebook can and will be used against you in the court of law. And don’t think you can just delete that post or make it private when the time comes, because destroying and hiding the material is considered destruction of evidence and illegal. In the recent case of Lester v. Allied Concrete Company, a Virginia state judge ordered attorney Matthew Murray to pay $542,000 for advising his client to delete photos from his Facebook profile, and for his client to pay an additional $180,000 for doing so.
Attorney Murray advised his client to remove photos from his Facebook account for fear that they would prejudice his wrongful death case brought after his wife’s fatal automobile accident. One of the photos depicted the allegedly distraught widower holding a beer and wearing a t-shirt emblazoned with “I [heart] hot moms.” Murray instructed his client through his assistant to “clean up” his Facebook account. “We do not want blow ups of other pics at trial,” the assistant’s email to Lester said, “so please, please clean up your Facebook and MySpace!”
Moral of the story, think before you post!