A family lawyer in a case involving fault or significant flaws that can negatively impact a child custody proceeding loves to have access to Facebook archives. These can be a goldmine of evidence. The first thing a good family lawyer will do is to advise new clients to stay off Facebook and other social media sites--or at least not publish comments that should remain private.
Subscribers and other frequent readers of Updates in Family Law will not be surprised to learn that there are over 40 posts (of about 1100 since 2006) concerning Facebook. All of them may be reviewed here. [NOTE: It's easy to subscribe and receive an email with link to all new posts. Just insert your email address in the box in the upper left-hand corner above.]
Two important blog posts should be reviewed: Facebook | Divorce & Total Recall and Facebook & MySpace | Is it ethical for lawyers tell clients to change, delete? The latter discusses the issue of spoliation. Richard Gould-Saltman, of the Gould-Saltman Law Offices in Los Angeles, California expressed provocative discussion of whether spoliation applies to Facebook and other social media pages. In fact, a Tennessee statute discussed in this post, prohibits post-filing changes (including deletion) of social media pages.