Don't discuss your court case on social media
Updated: Jan 11, 2021
If you’re in the middle of a contentious court battle, you may be tempted to post about your case online, or on social media. I urge you: don’t. It will only hurt you.
The opposing lawyer in your case, can see anything you say, online, and use it as evidence against you in court.
Even if you think that posting online about your case may gain sympathy for you, your posts may back fire and harm you. For example, if you’re in a divorce case, and you post critical comments about your ex-spouse, the opposing side may use the comments to show that you have an anger problem, or that you are unstable, or that you are trying to alienate your children from the other parent. Also, if you post critical comments about the opposing party, a judge may take a dim view of your attempts to garner support for yourself via the internet.
It’s not a good idea to post about anything, that could be related to your case, on social media. For example, if you’re in a personal injury case, don’t post anything about your health. If you’re in a divorce case, don’t post anything about your children. Also, even if a post is not related to your case, the post could still harm you.
It’s a good idea not to post:
anything that could be evidence of a crime
anything that could be evidence of your dishonesty
any picture of yourself undressed or partially undressed
anything revealing drug use
anything revealing, extramarital affairs
if you’re in a child custody case, don’t post anything that could indicate that you’re an unfit parent
Don’t start a GoFundMe page to try to raise money for your legal expenses, either. You may think a GoFundMe will help pay your legal fees. But, anything you post about your case on GoFundMe, could hurt you too, in the same way that posting on social media could hurt you in the ways I have described above. Last year, courts decided three cases, where a party attempted to raise money for their legal fees on GoFundMe, and their GoFundMe post hurt them. To see these cases, click here, here, and here.
I know some attorneys who require their clients to take down their Facebook pages. While I wouldn’t necessarily advise you to take such a drastic step, I will say this: I have never heard of a court case, where anything anyone posted online, helped the person who posted it win their case. But I have known (and have personally been involved in cases) where a party to a case posted something online, and the post hurt the person who posted it.