Social Media Law Presentation Slides for MENG Webinar

I recently had the pleasure of presenting a nationally broadcast webinar on social media law to MENG (Marketing Executives Networking Group) which is a national network of top-level marketing executives. You can learn more about MENG by visiting its website and you can learn more about my presentation by visiting MENG’s webpage promoting the webinar.

Thanks to the hard work and experience of the MENG team, the technical aspects of the webinar were very smooth and the participants had fabulous questions that made it even better. Presenting to MENG was a great experience that I really appreciate!

The slides from the presentation titled Social Media Law: It is Real, and, Yes, It Really Can Impact Your Business are available HERE.

 


 

About the author

Shawn Tuma is a lawyer who is experienced in advising clients on complex digital information law and intellectual property issues. These issues include things such as trade secrets litigation and misappropriation of trade secrets (under common law and the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act), unfair competition, and cyber crimes such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; helping companies with data security issues from assessing their data security strengths and vulnerabilities, helping them implement policies and procedures for better securing their data, preparing data breach incident response plans, leading them through responses to a data breach, and litigating disputes that have arisen from data breaches.

Shawn is a partner at BrittonTuma, a boutique business law firm with offices near the boarder of Frisco and Plano, Texas which is located minutes from the District Courts of Collin County, Texas and the Plano Courthouse of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. He represents clients in lawsuits across the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex including state and federal courts in Collin County, Denton County, Dallas County, and Tarrant County, which are all courts in which he regularly handles cases (as well as throughout the nation pro hac vice). Tuma regularly serves as a consultant to other lawyers on issues within his area of expertise and also serves as local counsel for attorneys with cases in the District Courts of Collin County, Texas, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, and the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas.

Do Not Delete Relevant Social Media Accounts or Posts During Lawsuits > Spoliation of Evidence

Social Media Evidence Spoliation

Do not delete that post or account if you are in litigation!

“The law has a right to every man’s evidence.”

The old saying means that when you are in possession of something that could be used as evidence, and you anticipate that you are going to be involved in a lawsuit that may have even a tangential relationship to that evidence, you have a duty to preserve it.

Period.

If you do not preserve that evidence, the court that ultimately hears that lawsuit could punish you with sanctions. In egregious enough cases, the sanctions can be really severe — such as saying “you lose” for that reason alone.

In the age of social media, this rule can present quite a problem and here are 2 succinct examples of things you cannot do if you anticipate you are going to be involved in litigation:

  1. You cannot permanently delete your social media account if it contains potentially relevant evidence. (read this post for case explaining why)
  2. You cannot selectively delete individual posts from your social media account if those posts could potentially be relevant to the lawsuit. (read this post for case explaining why)

 

 


About the author

Shawn Tuma is a lawyer who is experienced in representing and advising clients on digital business risk which includes complex digital information law and intellectual property issues. This includes things such as trade secrets litigation and misappropriation of trade secrets (under common law and the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act), unfair competition, and cyber crimes such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; helping companies with data security issues from assessing their data security strengths and vulnerabilities, helping them implement policies and procedures for better securing their data, preparing data breach incident response plans, leading them through responses to a data breach, and litigating disputes that have arisen from data breaches. Shawn is a partner at BrittonTuma, a boutique business law firm with offices near the border of Frisco and Plano, Texas which is located minutes from the District Courts of Collin County, Texas and the Plano Court of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. He represents clients in lawsuits across the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex including state and federal courts in Collin County, Denton County, Dallas County, and Tarrant County, which are all courts in which he regularly handles cases (as well as throughout the nation pro hac vice). Tuma regularly serves as a consultant to other lawyers on issues within his area of expertise and also serves as local counsel for attorneys with cases in the District Courts of Collin County, Texas, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, and the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas.

Using Social Media in Your Law Practice – Presentation to Collin County Bar Association #ccba

Using Social Media in Your Law Firm

Using Social Media in Your Law Firm

Today I have the pleasure of speaking to a great group of Collin County lawyers in the Collin County Bar Association’s monthly general meeting about the practical and ethical considerations of using social media in a law practice as well as my own tips that I have learned by using social media in my practice.

Here is are Prezi presentation slides — take a look and let me know your thoughts!

Using Social Media In Your Law Practice

 


 

About the author

Shawn Tuma is a lawyer who is experienced in advising clients on complex digital information law and intellectual property issues. These issues include things such as trade secrets litigation and misappropriation of trade secrets (under common law and the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act), unfair competition, and cyber crimes such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; helping companies with data security issues from assessing their data security strengths and vulnerabilities, helping them implement policies and procedures for better securing their data, preparing data breach incident response plans, leading them through responses to a data breach, and litigating disputes that have arisen from data breaches.

Shawn is a partner at BrittonTuma, a boutique business law firm with offices near the boarder of Frisco and Plano, Texas which is located minutes from the District Courts of Collin County, Texas and the Plano Courthouse of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. He represents clients in lawsuits across the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex including state and federal courts in Collin County, Denton County, Dallas County, and Tarrant County, which are all courts in which he regularly handles cases (as well as throughout the nation pro hac vice). Tuma regularly serves as a consultant to other lawyers on issues within his area of expertise and also serves as local counsel for attorneys with cases in the District Courts of Collin County, Texas, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, and the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas.

Using Social Media in Your Law Practice – Prezi Presentation

Using Social Media in Your Law Firm

Using Social Media in Your Law Firm

I recently had the pleasure of speaking to a great group of Collin County lawyers in the Collin County Bar Association’s Law Practice Management Section about the practical and ethical considerations of using social media in a law practice as well as my own tips that I have learned by using social media in my practice.

Here is are Prezi presentation slides — take a look and let me know your thoughts!

Using Social Media In Your Law Practice

 


 

About the author

Shawn Tuma is a lawyer who is experienced in advising clients on complex digital information law and intellectual property issues. These issues include things such as trade secrets litigation and misappropriation of trade secrets (under common law and the Texas Uniform Trade Secrets Act), unfair competition, and cyber crimes such as the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act; helping companies with data security issues from assessing their data security strengths and vulnerabilities, helping them implement policies and procedures for better securing their data, preparing data breach incident response plans, leading them through responses to a data breach, and litigating disputes that have arisen from data breaches.

Shawn is a partner at BrittonTuma, a boutique business law firm with offices near the boarder of Frisco and Plano, Texas which is located minutes from the District Courts of Collin County, Texas and the Plano Courthouse of the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas. He represents clients in lawsuits across the Dallas / Fort Worth Metroplex including state and federal courts in Collin County, Denton County, Dallas County, and Tarrant County, which are all courts in which he regularly handles cases (as well as throughout the nation pro hac vice). Tuma regularly serves as a consultant to other lawyers on issues within his area of expertise and also serves as local counsel for attorneys with cases in the District Courts of Collin County, Texas, the United States District Court, Eastern District of Texas, and the United States District Court, Northern District of Texas.

Bloggers have the same First Amendment protections as journalists according to 9th Circuit

A federal appeals court ruled Friday that bloggers and the public have the same First Amendment protections as journalists when sued for defamation: If the issue is of public concern, plaintiffs have to prove negligence to win damages.

via News from The Associated Press.

 

Presentation slides for Parenting Paper<less Conference on Digital Information Law Issues

Yesterday I had the wonderful opportunity to speak at the Parenting Paper<less – Technology and Single Parenting Conference 2013 and all I can say is the audience was amazing. I discussed the digital information law issues including social media law and intellectual property law (with a dose of contract law!). The audience was so engaged, so interested to learn more, and had so many great questions and examples of real-life scenarios where they had experienced some of the issues I was discussing. It was a real pleasure to speak to that group of wonderful people. Anyway, as promised, here are the slides for my presentation: The Law Online – Posting Gone Wild!

<div style=”margin-bottom:5px”> <strong> <a href=”https://www.slideshare.net/shawnetuma/the-law-online-posting-gone-wild&#8221; title=”The Law Online – Posting Gone Wild!” target=”_blank”>The Law Online – Posting Gone Wild!</a> </strong> from <strong><a href=”http://www.slideshare.net/shawnetuma&#8221; target=”_blank”>Shawn Tuma</a></strong> </div>

Deactivating Your Facebook While in Litigation May Be Destruction of Evidence

SPOILED WHILE WAITING - NARA - 515470

TAKEAWAY: Deactivating your Facebook account while in litigation may be destroying evidence that could be sanctioned by the court for spoliation of evidence.

In Gatto v. United Air Lines, Inc., et al., 2:10-cv-01090 (D. NJ Mar. 25, 2013), the district court entered an order finding that the Defendants would be entitled to an instruction at trial permitting the jury to draw an adverse inference against the Plaintiff for failing to preserve his Facebook account. The relevant facts regarding this issue are straightforward.

Plaintiff sued Defendants for personal injuries that occurred while he was working, claiming he could no longer do certain activities, no longer work, etc. The Defendants requested information from Plaintiff’s social media accounts in discovery (which is standard course these days) and Plaintiff produced quite a bit of the information from accounts other than his Facebook. He did not provide the requested information from his Facebook account. The parties engaged in quite a bit of fighting over the Facebook account and, just before all of the contents were ordered to be turned over, Plaintiff just so happened to (accidentally, of course) deactivate his Facebook account. Unfortunately–of course–by the time news traveled from lawyers to Plaintiff and back to lawyers, well, over 14 days had elapsed since the account was deactivated and it was now permanently deleted — bye bye Facebook account and everything in it!

Defendants then sought sanctions against Plaintiff for “spoliation of evidence” and sought their costs, attorneys fees, and a spoliation inference for the jury. The court agreed there was spoliation:

Spoliation occurs where evidence is destroyed or significantly altered, or where a party fails to “preserve property for another’s use as evidence in pending or reasonable foreseeable litigation.” Litigants in federal court have a duty to preserve relevant evidence that they know, or reasonably should know, will likely be requested in reasonably foreseeable litigation, and the Court may impose sanctions on an offending party that has breached this duty.”

The court stated in no uncertain terms that it was irrelevant whether Plaintiff requested that his account be deleted or merely deactivated because either scenario involved the withholding or destruction of evidence. “[I]t is beyond dispute that Plaintiff had a duty to preserve his Facebook account at the time it was deactivated and deleted.” The court provided a very thorough analysis of the spoliation issue (i.e., you should read the full opinion) and ultimately determined that the appropriate sanction was a spoliation inference.

Now, was this scintillating little blurb enough to make you want to go and read the opinion?

If you have any questions or would like to talk about any of these kinds of issues, please feel free to give me a call (469.635.1335) or email me (stuma@brittontuma.com).

p.s. – I would like to thank Chad Pinson at Stroz Friedberg for sharing this opinion with me – thanks Chad!