New technology devices, apps for your smartphone, and social media websites, while fun to use for recreation, to better your health, and for social interaction, can also be used in the courtroom. In today’s world people have become far more reliant on technology in their everyday lives; however, it is important to understand that in using these new types of technology, data and information is being created which can be used in the courtroom both to support and to defend against your case.
Social media website information, such as Facebook, has been used for quite some time in a variety of legal matters. It is important to understand that when using Facebook, while you may think you are only posting statements, pictures, and sending messages to your friends, all of the information you add to the website could potentially be used in the courtroom. For instance, if you are an employee who is having a conflict with a co-worker or supervisor at work, and you turn to Facebook to talk to your friends about that issue, that information could be used in the courtroom if that conflict later turns into legal action. The same can be said for a business owner who turns to Facebook to talk about a business deal gone wrong, or a husband who turns to Facebook to air his laundry about a custody battle with his children’s mother.
However, it seems now, more than ever, attorneys are turning to other information and data created by technology for use in the courtroom. Recently, Forbes.com reported that a Calgary law firm is having their client, who sustained a personal injury, wear a Fitbit to track her post-injury activity to prove that she is now significantly less active than before the accident. The idea is that the Fitbit, a fitness tracking device, will track the woman’s physical activity and her attorneys can then use that tracked activity to prove her activity levels are lower now than they were prior to the accident. This is especially important in this case, as the young woman was a personal trainer prior to the accident.
Information and data from technology are likely to continue to be fertile ground for information to use in the courtroom. Knowledge of the existence of this type of information and data is an important consideration for you as a potential litigant and is an important consideration for attorneys when preparing your case. If you are aware of the existence of this type of data or information, please make your lawyer aware of that data or information so that the attorney can evaluate the potential impact of it on your case.
If you need legal assistance please contact Emmanuel Sheppard & Condon.
We are a full-service law firm with experienced lawyers providing services to individuals and institutions in all legal matters including personal injury, commercial litigation, employment law, real estate, social security, family law, and worker’s compensation.