San Diego County Bar Tackles Lawyer Friend Requests and the Ex Parte Rule

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] The San Diego County Bar Association recently tackled the issue of whether a lawyer’s friend request to an employee of a party violates the rule barring ex-parte communications by a lawyer with a party whom the…

Court Conducts in camera Review of Plaintiff’s Facebook Page to Resolve Discovery Dispute — Offenback v. Bowman

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Offenback v. Bowman, 10-CV-1789 (M.D. Pa.; June 22, 2011) Background: Discovery disputes over Facebook accounts and whether they are discoverable in civil cases are piling up. Courts and litigants continue to grapple with the central problem…

Massachusetts Supreme Court Finds Email Sufficiently Authenticated Based on Surrounding Evidence — Commonwealth v. Purdy

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Commonwealth v. Purdy, 2011 WL 1421367 (Mass.; Apr. 15, 2011) Defendant was prosecuted and convicted for maintaining a house of prostitution and deriving support from the earnings of a prostitute. The trial judge admitted various emails…

Plaintiff Can’t be Forced to Accept Defense Counsel’s Facebook Friend Request in Personal Injury Case — Piccolo v. Paterson

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Piccolo v. Paterson, No. 2009-04979 (Pa. Ct of Common Pleas; May 5, 2011) [.pdf] In addition to cases dealing with whether Facebook posts are discoverable in civil cases, courts and litigants continue to grapple with the…

Maryland Supreme Court Rejects “Circumstantial Authentication” Standard for MySpace Evidence — Griffin v. Maryland

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Griffin v. Maryland, No. 74 (Maryland; Apr. 28, 2011) I blogged last year about a case in Maryland where the court allowed prosecutors to authenticate a witness’s MySpace page merely by accessing it from the internet,…

March 2011 Quick Links, Part 3

By Eric Goldman Search Engines * Lots of Google antitrust activity: – Apparently, an EU antitrust investigation IS something that Microsoft would wish on its worst enemy. – Every legal regulator in the world is considering antitrust investigations into Google,…

Court Denies Request for Discovery of Facebook and Twitter Account Information, Finding that the Request is a “Digital Fishing Expedition”

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Caraballo v. City of NY, Index No. 75535/08 (N.Y. Sup. Ct.; Mar. 4, 2011) Plaintiff suffered personal injuries “while performing work at 417 O’Gorman Avenue, also known as 45 Keegans Lane, on Staten Island.” Predictably, defendant…

Website Privacy Policy Supports Pseudonymous Poster’s Expectation of Privacy — Cornelius v. Deluca

[Post by Venkat Balasubramani] Cornelius v. Deluca, 10-Cv-027-BLW (D.Id.; Mar. 15, 2011) A district court judge in Idaho denied a request to unmask the identity of a pseudonymous forum poster. In support of its decision, the court looked to the…

Jan.-Feb. 2011 Quick Links, Part 2

By Eric Goldman Search Engines Google’s search algorithm has been very much in the news the past 2 months! * Google’s announcements: – “Google search and search engine spam” – Matt Cutts explains Google penalties in a video. – “Microsoft’s…

Top 5 Cyberlaw Developments of 2010, Plus a 2010 Year-in-Review

By Eric Goldman Earlier this Fall, I posted my top 8 trends in Internet law, and that’s a good place to start if you want to see how I think things are developing. Because of that post, this year I’m…