Contract Disputes and Social Media

Social media has become a part of many American’s daily lives. Whether it is posting pictures, catching up with friends, or simply fighting boredom, we all tend to be attached to our devices. There are numerous platforms that allow you to vent your frustrations about what is going on in your life and in our world. However, sharing every detail of your life is not always a good thing, especially when it comes to legal matters.

By way of example, let’s consider an employee who signs a non-compete agreement with employer #1. After six months of employment, the employee quits and begins working for employer #2. The employee lists his new position with the employer #2 on his LinkedIn profile. All of his former clients are notified that employee changed employers. Is this a breach of the non-compete agreement? The answer depends on the facts of each specific case, including the provisions of the non-compete agreement as well as the information posted online.

There are a wide variety of contracts that can be impacted by social media. A person’s ability to reach thousands of people with a few keystrokes on the computer opens the door to many legal issues. What may start as a cathartic exercise to vent frustrations can lead to legal liability or even block you from recovering damages suffered.

Before you post anything online that relates to a legal relationship you have, you should remind yourself that “what you say can and will be used against you in a court of law.” Don’t make the mistake of thinking the other party will never see your posts. Companies (and their attorneys) will spend thousands of dollars to search the internet for information to use against you.

What about your privacy? Most social media users have their posts viewable by the general public. Therefore, your social media posts are discoverable information in a lawsuit. Even if the content of your post is not important to the case, it may be relevant because it was made during working hours, which could negatively impact a wrongful termination case. You never know how a social media post could be used against you in a lawsuit, so you should think carefully before you post. In fact, the best advice is to take a vacation from social media whenever you are involved in a legal proceeding!

With over 36 years of experience providing sophisticated legal advice on business matters and related litigation, Mailly Law is here to help. With our structure, you work with the same attorney who gets to know your corporate culture and anticipates your legal needs. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.