The legal system brings out the worst in a lot of people and it's understandable to a large degree. Fighting over children, businesses, homes, significant sums of money or even your fundamental liberties is emotional! That's part of the reason why having experienced counsel is so important when everything is on the line. Not taking your attorney's advice to avoid emoting on social media platforms can prove devastating to your case. Consider what just happened to famed rapper 50 Cent. Going through the rigorous bankruptcy process since July, Curtis James Jackson III (his birth name) recently made the unfortunate decision to post photos of himself on Instagram posing with stacks of U.S. currency. He took to Twitter, too, bragging about real estate upgrades:
My crib is almost finished in AFRICA. I'm gonna have the craziest House warming party ever. I'll… https://t.co/eZXiYL8jpn
— 50cent (@50cent) September 5, 2015 The Court was watching. Now a federal bankruptcy judge has ordered 50 Cent back to court for hearing to explain his Instagram photos. He risks losing the extraordinary protections afforded debtors by the U.S. Bankruptcy Code. Although he's certainly no kid (at least chronologically), there's little doubt that social media has arrested the development of many modern Americans. Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, professional networking websites and smart phone applications have eliminated the all-important invisible barrier between our internal monologues and publication to the larger world. Far too few people take the time to consider the implications.
That's an extra-dangerous environment for litigants. Posting a photo of yourself drunk on Facebook could hypothetically impact your custody litigation or probation hearing; tweeting that threatening message to your ex-wife could result in a life-altering restraining order. Most of us don't have stacks of cash laying around like 50 Cent but bragging about your new car or new job via social media will likely yield admissible evidence for your adversary at the next hearing or trial. Retraining your brain is key. All of my clients are given a friendly but serious lecture about social media awareness encompassing everything from checking your friends' list, adjusting your privacy settings and, most importantly of all, thinking long and hard before externalizing in front of an online audience! The legal process is challenging enough; unforced errors need to be avoided at all costs when your parenting time or plea deal hangs in the balance. Be smart and proactive. The first step towards avoiding a major social media misstep is hiring the right type of attorney. At DeMichele & DeMichele we regularly represent family law, municipal court, and personal injury clients going through the trial and tribulations of transitioning to the next stage of our lives. Let us put our experience to work for you. Contact us online today for a confidential initial consultation. Help is also only a phone call away at (856) 546-1350. _____
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