The Use of Facebook as a Discovery Tool

Professor Greg Duhl of William Mitchell College of Law and Jaclyn Millner of Fitch, Johnson, Larson & Held, P.A. have recently published a good article on the phenomena of social network sites and the impact such sites can have on discovery in personal injury and worker's compensation cases.  The article can be downloaded here  http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=1675026 .  Sites such as Facebook, My Space and LinkedIn are becoming significant sources of both investigative and discovery information in litigation.  In my own experience, I have used Facebook to gather information on the opposing party in several cases.  In addition, I have had at least one occasion in which my opponent has used infomration from a client's Facebook page in the discovery process.  This is a trend that is on the increase. 

Professor Duhl's article is well written and discusses many timely issues concerning this new discovery medium, including the ethics of "friending" for purposes of obtaining access to a claimant's Facebook page. 

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