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What To Do When… Your Case is All Over Social Media.

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WTDW Podcast | Episode 57: What To Do When… Your Case is All Over Social Media.

What To Do When… Intro 00:01
Welcome to What To Do When… A podcast from real lawyers with real perspective, where we explore a variety of legal issues and scenarios. Each week we focus on a new topic and discuss what to do when and if any of these legal scenarios ever happened to you or a loved one. With over 40 years of combined legal experience, our hosts offer their unique perspectives and insights on a range of real life legal situations.

Jackie Critzer 0:29
Hi, there, welcome back to another podcast here at Critzer Cardani in Richmond, Virginia. I’m Jackie.

Scott Cardani 0:35

I’m Scott. Jackie, what do we have on the docket for today?

Jackie Critzer 0:39
What To Do When… Your Case is All Over Social Media.

Scott Cardani 0:44
Yeah, social media is not your friend.

Jackie Critzer 0:47
It’s cringy. When we hear clients come in and tell us that they’ve posted something or here, let me show you what they put on Facebook or Instagram, or I don’t know the others on some social media website somewhere, that it’s so cringy. Why is it cringy do you think?

Scott Cardani 1:05
Because people don’t think before they post most often. That’s what it is. But think of it this way too. As you were saying that I kind of came up with this, we get discovery motions all the time for people’s social media.

Jackie Critzer 1:19
We do.

Scott Cardani 1:20
If you’re a big social media person, think about how many gigabytes of data that you’re going to have to give your attorney to review. And then they’re gonna give it to their attorney to review and you’re gonna spend 1000s of dollars on looking through social media… cringe.

Jackie Critzer 1:38
Tick Tock… let me tell you about tick tock, well, yeah, when you get some followers on Tiktok, you make a really easy case, when you’ve got a parent who posts all over Tiktok. When they’re drinking, when they’re out partying, when they’re having a dance party with the beer in their hand and the kids in the background. It’s just, It doesn’t play well. And when you put it out there, you make a digital footprint, just one of our other podcasts you’re gonna be hearing about soon, when you make a digital footprint, it’s very difficult to erase it. And so you’ve got the tick talking about these videos. And maybe you’re acting a fool in the videos. But it’s not just that right? Sometimes, we get parents who just want to slay the other parent, and they talk about oh, my child’s father, fill in the blank, or my child’s mother fill in the blank. And they post all about their case, maybe before they even had attorneys involved. And they post about what’s going on in their family dynamic on social media, and it’s available for the other person to see and don’t think it’s hidden. Because people you know, know the other person. I am telling you the number of times I’ve had a client say, Well, I’m not friends with them on social media, I got blocked, but so and so isn’t and so that’s how I got it. And here I am reading about it. And how what did what a terrible person dad is and because he did this, and he did that.

Scott Cardani 3:03
You know, and I always laugh because people say, Well, I did on Snap. Snap or races once you send it. No. That’s the biggest misnomer. I still cry when people tell me that.

Jackie Critzer 3:15
They say, Oh, but I know if they’ve taken a screenshot. Okay, that may be true, but it’s still in your cache. It’s still there. It exists.

Scott Cardani 3:23
I said this on another podcast, I’ll say it again, because it’s worth it. I’ve been in rooms where I’ve had to get discovery from the police. And I see these whole rooms dedicated to watching your SNAP, go through. And you don’t think they’re collecting it? They have access to it all.

Jackie Critzer 3:38
We’ve had cases where the police have arrested some of our juvenile clients because of what they have posted on Snapchat. Oh, but they can’t they can’t find it. They can. Okay, yes, they can possession underage possession of alcohol driving while into the I mean, the list goes on.

Scott Cardani 3:55
Pornography… I mean, people think they can post things and it’s without, you know, how many times we had inappropriate posts, sexually or otherwise. Or here’s the one people don’t think about, you’re depressed and you get on…

Jackie Critzer 4:08

Scott Cardani 4:09
All the time. And just think I’m gonna kill myself and again, I’m not trying to make fun of their mental health because I don’t say that to be mean. And I’m that’s not what I’m doing.

Jackie Critzer 4:16

Scott Cardani 4:16
But when you read that you’re seeing this person who’s pouring out their heart to the world – bad choice.

Jackie Critzer 4:16
Very bad choice.

Scott Cardani 4:23
Telling them how you want to hurt yourself.

Jackie Critzer 4:25
Or someone else…

Scott Cardani 4:26
And you’re the mother of a two year old child in the background. Do you think that’s gonna play well? I’m just being honest, man. GET HELP. But that’s the conversation you have with a counselor. There are many free mental health all over this counties and cities all have them.

Jackie Critzer 4:46

Scott Cardani 4:46
You have region 10 out and Goochland and all those places, there’s places to get help. I know it’s not easy, but I’m making light of it. But I’m saying social media is not a place to address your mental health.

Jackie Critzer 4:57
You’re you’re putting yourself at a disadvantage. And not only on a temporary basis, but really long term. Because once the court sniffs the mental health issue, they’re going to order mental health evaluations, they may order psychological evaluations, they may require ongoing counseling, and it is going to impact your parenting time and a custody case. It’s not It’s not whether it is it is going to, it’s how much impact is it going to have? It’s the bigger question.

Scott Cardani 5:25
Um, you know, you can say all day to me. Well, my mental health shouldn’t affect my my right to parent my child. Okay, it shouldn’t, but it does.

Jackie Critzer 5:33
Yeah, of course it does. I mean, we’ve we’ve seen the stories in the news where the mom drove the minivan into the lake and killed her children. And that, obviously, was a mental health issue. And so our judges, especially, I mean, I can’t think of one who isn’t hyper aware of the safety and welfare of children and parents making decisions that are questionable that that just smell like, maybe there’s a mental health issue. And so they’re just there, they’re watching it, if you if you’re on social media, you’re being watched, whether it’s by the other attorney, or it’s by the other party, or it’s by your children, or your in laws, or your siblings, or your enemies, your high school buddies, your ex girlfriend, that it doesn’t really matter. It’s there, and it’s being shared.

Scott Cardani 6:22
And I’m telling you, folks, it’s always the subject of discovery. And if you don’t know what discovery is, if you’re in one of these situations, the other side has the right to ask questions, and then request documents and request information. And that’s always give me your social media for the last five years. Oh, I just cringe when I have that not only from the creators of the word cringe that they use, this is just a cringe from like, the sheer volume that that’s going to entail.

Jackie Critzer 6:48
Because we have to go through it, we have to see every single bit of it.

Scott Cardani 6:51
I just can’t just give somebody something I haven’t looked at, because I don’t know what it is I need to have the if it’s something crazy, for instance, maybe you had a bad night and posted whatever. You know, the drunk dials the the mental health issues, whatever it may be. You know, I have to know what that is. So I can defend you properly, or, you know, whatever. I mean, there’s just we have to be able to, you know, say in the media spin that properly, you know, but if we don’t know about it, we can’t spin it. So I can’t just send it out there. So again, you have to remember, you know, people live their lives. I’m surprised so at this date, how much people live their lives on social media.

Jackie Critzer 7:30
Well, and then you’ve got you take it into the divorce cases, and you’re looking at fault grounds. Okay, maybe you and your boyfriend or girlfriend that you ran away for weekend with, didn’t share it on social media, but maybe you somehow connected and then maybe there’s a picture. So it’s just, it’s everywhere, it’s you must be aware of that using social media to broadcast your story, or your life, whether it’s Instagram, or Facebook or Tik Tok, or any of the others. If you’re using social media to broadcast your story, you have to be aware that your story is going to come up in court, and it’s going to be maybe it’ll be great for you. Maybe the judge will see oh, my gosh, look, they traveled to the mountains. And there’s nothing bad here. Well, we don’t get cases like that. If it’s if social media is an issue, it’s because it’s a bad issue.

Scott Cardani 8:19
But you know, I think all the time when social media started and we would tag people in pictures. Oh, for sure. You know, and you know that I used to think that I wasn’t a big social media, I still probably not a big social media guy. But my point is, it would freak me out. Once I saw a piece a someone tagged you this part of my call. Oh, they’re watching me. Now, I thought that I don’t even do anything wrong. And I’m like, it was creepy. They might. And that’s the point she’s making. Say you are having a weird relationship that you probably shouldn’t be having if you’re married, and you go to Scott’s party, and he’s taking pictures and snapping them up on SNAP and broadcasting them everywhere. Absolutely. That’s all fair game, folks. And you know, you’re in the back corner making out with Harriet. You got problems. Poor Harriet.

Jackie Critzer 9:06
Poor Harriet.

Scott Cardani 9:07
She didn’t even know. Anyways, these are important subjects. The reason we bring them up is because these are things we see every day in our practice. We want you to be informed. Social media is an awesome tool. You probably shouldn’t live your life on social media.

Jackie Critzer 9:26
I have a question Scott.

Scott Cardani 9:28

Jackie Critzer 9:28
What happens if you see the other person baby mama baby daddy, spouse, whomever it is, and they’re posting about you. And you know it’s your might not be your name? Okay? But you know, whatever it is, they’ve said is about you. Should you respond?

Scott Cardani 9:47

Jackie Critzer 9:48
Okay. Leave it alone.

Scott Cardani 9:50
Leave it alone. Use it to your advantage don’t enter is we had a podcast prior about high conflict. That’s the epitome of getting into high conflict. Well Let them say there’s no point you’re not going to defend yourself. You know, the old Shakespeare thou does protest too much, you start to look like you’re, I see it all the time in cases where people bought, you know, I didn’t I didn’t I didn’t I didn’t I didn’t. Or that’s not true. That’s not true. That’s not true. It doesn’t ever play well, it never gets the response. You want something

Jackie Critzer 10:18
Something like I’m not out partying and drinking tonight, but she is but she has custody. Oh, my goodness. In fact, leave it alone. Don’t respond, let it go snap it to grab a screenshot of it, let us take a look at it. But don’t respond to it. And say I’m not out partying, I’m not out drinking, the kids are just fine. They’re with my mom… they’re with somebody else. There’s noise in the background.

Scott Cardani 10:18
Yeah, somebody’s revving up their engine, I figured it was my son, but anyways, we’re good. Let’s land this plane, folks, we are again, trying to help you here at Critzer Cardani. We want you to be informed, well informed so you can make good decisions. When we talk about social media, we talk about it from the perspective of we see the bad side of it. Unfortunately, we see the expense of it. And everybody thinks it’s this wonderful tool, and it is if it’s used correctly. But number one, before you post, think about what you’re posting. Take a moment to consider…that pause and say is this a good idea? And I’ll guarantee that will cut your social media in half. But anyways, pause number one. Number two?

Jackie Critzer 11:28
Don’t respond. If it’s somebody else’s post, don’t respond to it. Leave it alone, especially if you are in the middle. And maybe you’re not in the middle of custody litigation. But you have children and you’re divorced or you’re separated or you’re never married, it can always come back up. Let it go. Leave the conflict off of social media.

Scott Cardani 11:47
And number three, it’s never hidden. It’s never hidden as well as you think it is. And that’s a problem. You could be your kids watching you. So just remember that.

Jackie Critzer 12:00
We appreciate you being here today. Like and Subscribe. We look forward to seeing you next time.

Scott Cardani 12:04
If you have any questions – [email protected].

What To Do When… Outro 12:10

We hope you’ve enjoyed this episode of What To Do When… For more episodes, be sure to subscribe to our podcast and we encourage you to check archives to listen to previous topics. Tune in next week for a new episode and some fresh perspective from Critzer Cardani.

Need Legal Representation? Contact Critzer Cardani.

We look forward to helping you in this venture and Good Luck!