Main Office: 9400 River Crossing Blvd., Ste. 103, New Port Richey, FL 34655
Satellite Offices:Citrus, Hernando, Pinellas and Hillsborough Counties

Social Media Can be the Demise of Your Case

Social media sites, such as Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter and others, are a wonderful way to communicate with family and friends, especially those that we do not get to see on a frequent basis. Everyone you're connected to can see your posts and photos and comment on them, as well as post statements and photos in response. However, these same sites can also provide a wealth of information to the insurance companies and opposing counsel who use it to evaluate you and your personal injury case. This information that you believe is privately shared between you and your contacts, is not private at all as the courts have deemed the comments and photos posted to be discoverable evidence in a pending matter if it goes to the character, or credibility of you or your case. In every case we have in litigation, one of the first items the opposing counsel requests in their investigation of our client’s claim, are their “social media sites'' content as it relates to the case at hand. Any postings or photos that could go to the issues in the case such as employment, activities of daily living, liability, injuries, or damages, are all discoverable by opposing counsel and can be used against you and your case. Your social media sites are being explored in accident cases, employment cases, family law cases and criminal cases to name a few. For example, we had one case in which the insurance company had searched our client's Facebook pages without her knowledge and printed photographs that had been posted months after her accident of a mission trip she had chaperoned with her church. They were all group photos with captions that talked about the zip lining and white water rafting the group had engaged in while doing mission work in Costa Rica. The insurance company produced these photos to my office and accused our client of fraud, saying she obviously was not injured because she was able to engage in these strenuous activities months after the accident when she was supposedly injured. We had to get sworn affidavits from everyone that had been on the mission trip, confirming that our client had never engaged in any of these strenuous activities as she was unable to do so because of her injuries and had instead, just acted merely as a chaperon accompanying the youth to the places where the zip lining and white water rafting took place.

Employers are also mining social media sites to keep tabs on their current employees, as well as, to evaluate the character of perspective employees who have applied for a position with the company. Colleges are also searching applicants' social media sites to determine if the candidates for admission are of good character.  

Because of the potential detriment social media can have on our clients' cases, we advise everyone to not post anything about their case on any social media site from the day we take on representation to the end of that matter. However, if our clients have already posted something on social media prior to our representation, then we advise them that they are not allowed to delete it, or take it down as it is admissible evidence in their case.

The best rule to follow when it pertains to social media, is to not ever post anything that could be construed, or used against you in the future to depict you or your case in a negative light. If you should have questions concerning this or any other legal matters please feel free to contact my office. We are always here for you.

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Italian Ricotta Easter Bread
3/4 cup plain or butter-flavored shortening, room temperature
1-1/2 cups sugar
3 large eggs, room temperature
3 large egg yolks, room temperature
1 cup whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon almond extract (or flavor of choice)
6 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup 2% milk

1-1/2 cups confectioners' sugar
3 tablespoons 2% milk
1/2 teaspoon almond extract (or flavor of choice)
Sliced toasted almonds or assorted sprinkles

Preheat oven to 350°. Cream shortening and sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs and egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in ricotta and extract. In another bowl, whisk flour, baking powder and salt; add to creamed mixture alternately with milk, beating well after each addition, stirring in final 1 cup flour by hand.

Turn onto a lightly floured surface; divide into thirds. Roll each into an 18-in. rope. Place ropes on a parchment-lined baking sheet and braid. Pinch ends to seal; tuck under braid. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean, 45-55 minutes (do not overbake). Remove to wire racks to cool.

Meanwhile, beat confectioners' sugar, milk and extract until smooth. Brush on bread while still warm; top with sliced almonds or sprinkles.

Meanwhile, beat confectioners' sugar, milk and extract until smooth. Brush on bread while still warm; top with sliced almonds or sprinkles.

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Law Office of Charles S. Philips, PLC
Phone: (727) 494-2008
Fax: (727) 494-2009