Does your law firm conduct social media investigations? In today’s day and age, it is necessary. But if you don’t control the process, your law firm can experience major logistical and even ethical problems. This blog will cover the challenges faced by law firms when conducting social media investigations, and how to manage them.
The Challenge with Law Firm Social Media Investigations
Since every law firm is different, there is no one-sized-fits-all approach to social media investigations. Let’s say that your law firm has multiple offices around the country. You have a technology savvy attorney up in New York who conduct searches across all social media profiles, and then you might have a paralegal down in your Miami office who is only comfortable with Facebook and LinkedIn, so their searches are incomplete. By having different people at your law firm conduct social media investigations into your opposing parties and witnesses in different ways, this can create major problems for you.
First, you will obtain inconsistent information in each of your cases. If you have Attorney A conducting a search one way, but Attorney B conducting it in another way, you might not be getting all the information about each of your witnesses. This problem can be worsened if one of your attorneys searches a witness on LinkedIn first, as that will notify the witness that your law firm is investigating them. This may tip off that witness that you are investigating them, and they may put up privacy settings that hide away the information that you need to win your case. So, without having control over the process, your information gathering will be inconsistent.
Second, you put your lawyers at risk of becoming an essential witness. Let’s say that your lead counsel on a case is conducting the social media investigation herself. What’s going to happen when she wants to admit a piece of social media evidence into the record? She may become an essential and material witness who needs to be placed on the stand to need to authenticate how she collected that information. Just imagine the logistical problems of putting your lead counsel on the stand to authenticate a piece of social media evidence. It’s a big problem.
Third, and most importantly, you can run into serious ethical problems if you don’t conduct social media investigations the right way. Various legal ethics opinions that govern how attorneys and staff members can ethically collect social media information, and the serious ethical problems if the searches are done incorrectly. If someone at your firm doesn’t follow the ethics rules or these new ethics opinions, the firm can get into major trouble.
So how can your law firm control the social media investigation process? By working with SMI.
How to Control Your Social Media Investigations
SMI Aware combines innovative technology with human expertise to collect online information in each of your cases. SMI searches across all social media sites, public records, and across the Internet to ensure you are getting complete social media information about your witnesses, opposing parties, and people of interest, but does so in a manner that controls the process.
SMI Aware uses the same process for every single social media investigation. They use the same tools to search, collect, and preserve social media evidence. And most importantly, their methods are done in a manner that complies with the legal ethics rules.
So, if your law firm conducts social media investigations, you deserve it to yourself to control the process to achieve the best results possible. Reach out to SMI Aware to help you with your social media investigations today.