Thursday, October 25, 2007

Dangers of the digital age

I wrote about this in Family law and electronic discovery but The Mississippi Family Law Blog has a great post on Computers can be your downfall in a divorce or child custody case ( a much better title). Since I assume most of the people stopping by here have not yet filed for divorce (because then this advice is probably too late in getting to them), I thought the following ought to get highlighted:

"For some reason, many people believe there is some anonymity when they send an e-mail or post something online. It is amazing what people will put in an e-mail or post on a MySpace or Facebook page. Some of the most damaging evidence I have used in trial were e-mails. For some odd reason people will say things in e-mails they would never say in public. What is bad about e-mails and online postings is that those words are there for others to read. This is especially true in divorce and child custody cases. You can expect that someone will look at your e-mails and your postings to see what you are telling others."
Remember if it is on the Internet, then it is public property.

An update of sorts on this subject that came via today's e-mail givign me the heads up on an article on

At Malbrough & Lirette in Houma, La., a secretary browses MySpace and Facebook Web sites each day.

She's not checking the online social networking sites for personal reasons; she is performing one of her job duties.

"It's an everyday occasion," said Joan Malbrough, a partner at the three-attorney firm, which handles family law, personal injury and corporate law matters. "Every new client we do a MySpace and Facebook search on to see if they or their spouse have any useful information."

In one case, Malbrough said she helped secure shared custody for the father after finding his wife had posted sexually explicit comments on her boyfriend's MySpace page. In another case, a husband's credibility was questioned because, on his MySpace page, he said he was single and looking.

Most of MySpace Is a Treasure Chest for Cases concerns criminal cases but still I think it worth reading.

2/18/08: a new article on this subject - Family law and electronic discovery - News.

7/31/09: see also Facebook Problems and Family Law

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