Social Media, Law Enforcement Collide

By Bowling, Brian | Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review, September 27, 2012 | Go to article overview

Social Media, Law Enforcement Collide


Bowling, Brian, Tribune-Review/Pittsburgh Tribune-Review


Private postings on Facebook and other social media sites have become a new frontier for lawyers hoping to dig up information favorable to their clients in court cases, experts say.

People might think that because a message is limited to a few friends that it's sacrosanct, but as a general rule, anything in the post could end up in court, said Rhonda Wasserman, a University of Pittsburgh law professor.

"The fact that it's invasive of one's privacy does not mean in and of itself that it's not discoverable," she said.

Opposing sides in civil cases have long had access to public posts, but in an increasing number of cases, one or both sides are demanding access to the private conversations litigants have with family and friends.

In a recent case, U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon in Pittsburgh upheld a magistrate judge's ruling that denied such a motion by Festival Fun Parks LLC. The owner of Idlewild Park in Ligonier Township wanted either the complete postings or the Facebook login information for a Blairsville woman suing the company for injuries she suffered on the Wild Mouse roller coaster.

The company's attorney couldn't be reached for comment.

Festival Fun Parks claimed in court documents that it believed Darlene Bizich's private Facebook postings would show her injuries have not affected her ability to enjoy life.

Thomas Martin, one of Bizich's attorneys, said they opposed the company's request as a matter of principle.

"It's becoming a routine thing now for defendants to seek the passwords to Facebook to gain access to information that has nothing to do with the case," he said.

He said he doesn't think there's anything in the postings that would damage his client's case, but he also doesn't think the company should be allowed to rummage through private conversations.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

Social Media, Law Enforcement Collide
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.