Go to navigation Go to content

Facebook: In NY, can the defense lawyer find out what you have posted on your Facebook account?

 

A:

In New York, the answer is most likely yes.

There are recent cases that have allowed defense lawyers the opportunity to dig through an injured victims Facebook account looking for information, postings and photographs that contradict what they have testified about their daily activities and their injuries.

However, they cannot go on a fishing expedition without a reasonable basis to believe that you posted something inconsistent with what you have already testified about.

Can a defense lawyer or someone on their behalf try and “Friend you” using a different name?

In New York, the answer is no. If an attorney tries to friend you using a different name so that you do not realize who he truly is, that can result in an ethics violation that will get them in front of the grievance committee. An attorney is not allowed to use subterfuge or falsely hold himself out as being someone else in an attempt to gain your trust to be your “friend” on Facebook.

Here is the ironic part. A defense lawyer or his investigator does not need to actually friend you in order to view your Facebook page.

All he needs to do is friend one of the people you are already friends with in order to access and view your page. That is why it is extremely important for you to adjust your Facebook privacy settings and more importantly, if you are contemplating bringing a lawsuit for medical malpractice, negligence, accident case or even wrongful death, that you not post anything on Facebook for the duration of your lawsuit.