While it may seem tempting to share the details of your lawsuit on your Facebook page or perhaps try to garner support for your case by positing your argument out to the Twittersphere – when it comes to legal proceedings, you should really avoid disclosing any information publically. Think of it as your own self-imposed gag order – do not discuss lawsuits on social media! Why?
It Can Backfire
While you may think that you can find additional support for your cause from the vast online audience, whatever you post can backfire and be used against you. Once you make this information available to the public, it can never be fully erased or removed. You can never be sure who has seen it, saved it, or has shared it with someone else. Nor can you predict how it will be interpreted as your intentions may be misconstrued. It’s a slippery slope. Your comments or inflammatory statements can also be used for factual reference to attack your character. So before you decide to share any of the information regarding your lawsuit online, take a cue from the Miranda warning: “anything you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.”
Gossip is Never Good
Remember – this is a legal proceeding, not a gossip game. Once you’ve committed to pursuing legal action, you have taken on a legitimate claim and need to follow all the rules associated with that decision. This is a serious matter not to be taken lightly. Any type of gossip or hearsay works against your case and your character. Gossip is never good, but when it comes to legal matters, it’s a game changer.
Private Profile – Not So Private
Don’t assume that your ‘private’ profile protects you. Even if it’s just limited to friends (or friends of friends), once you make something available in a public domain you are no longer in control of how that is distributed or managed. Who really makes up that ‘friend’ zone after all? Think about the six degrees of separation theory…you never know who knows whom. Your friend may just be a ‘friend of friend’ of your opposing counsel. That’s not going to help your case!
As a General Rule,… Do Not Discuss Lawsuits on Social Media
So while it may be tempting to air your grievances, do not discuss lawsuits on social media – especially if you want a successful outcome! Once it is accessible to the public, you can’t retract or redact that original post or control how it is used. Take care before you share.