Ethical Considerations in Social Media Investigations

Social Media Information, LLCTraining0 Comments

The Case for Working with SMI: Part One

SMI has partnered with Ethan Wall of Social Media Law & Order to produce a series of informational videos discussing the importance of social media evidence. In the first video of this series, Ethan discusses the ethical challenges a legal professional might face if they choose to conduct their own social media investigation.

What are the ethical considerations for social media investigations?

In summary, legal professionals are ethically prohibited from interacting with any party (represented or not) in order to gain access to evidence without their knowledge.

  • Legal professionals are not allowed to send a friend request to a represented party. This would violate the ethical rule prohibiting contacting a represented party.
  • Legal professionals cannot request that a paralegal send a friend request to the subject of an investigation. This would violate the ethical rule prohibiting the use deception / misleading tactics to gain access to evidence.

Is your law firm violating ethical guidelines?

Does your law firm have a process for collecting social media evidence? Are you certain that the social media evidence collected during your investigation will be defensible in court? Let us know how social media fits into your discovery process in the comments section below. Want more information about SMI’s social media investigation or preservation products? Please contact us or call (888) 299-9921 and one of our representatives will gladly assist you.