My roommate recently put a bug in my ear about an October article in the New York State Bar Association Journal. The premise was simple: You can be held accountable for what you post on social media Web sites, and some people have gotten themselves into a real fix.
Author Michael Getnick recounted stories of clients facing libel suits for making defamatory statements about everything from apartments to clothing. In another case, an attorney that told a court that there was a death in her family was busted for playing hooky when the presiding judge saw Facebook status updates about weekend revelry.
Clients and attorneys alike also pose the risk of revealing personal or privileged information, Getnick wrote. A tweet made during court hearing could also be considered disruptive, he noted.
Outspoken Dallas Maverick owner Mark Cuban was fined $25,000 for criticizing the officiating during an NBA game. A job applicant tweeted his or herself out of a job. A UK officer worker cost herself her job by stating that her job was boring.
Getnick suggested that lawyers should always remember that anything that is posted in social media Web sites is permanent, searchable, and shareable. Getnick must be channeling my mother who always told me to “think before you speak.” The same thing goes online. Have you ever posted something that you later regretted?