Judge: Friend me to Rule on Facebook Evidence

This article reviews the legal difficulties in making social networking information available as part of the discovery process.  The Stored Communications Act is the friend of litigant who doesn’t want to share his or her Facebook profile with the other side.  While the Courts can request parties to turn over evidence for discovery, if the information is protected behind a firewall that only an internet service provider controls, then the Stored Communications Act prevents this information from being disclosed.

The Friending Judge

In a slip and fall case,  Barnes v. CUS Nashville, the Judge offered to create a Facebook profile and “friend” the plaintiff whose photos and other materials that were in dispute and to review the material and disseminate any relevant information to the parties.  Neither party took the Judge up on his offer.

Is this the electronic version of a party submitting disputed hardcopy evidence to a Judge for him or her to rule on its relevancy?

 

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