Michelle D. Wallis

Call 559-713-6363

Do NOT post on Facebook or the web while you are involved in litigation or are being prosecuted!!!

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The first thing I do after meeting my client and reading my client’s case file, be it criminal defense, family law, or a personal injury case in Tulare, Kings, or Fresno County, is to check the internet for my client’s name and electronic footprint. I can’t tell you how many people have told me that they are substance free, only to have me find them posing with alcohol and/or drugs on the internet. When it’s my client, I never judge, I just feel frustrated because they really are hurting their own chances at having a more favorable resolution to their case. My favorite example of this is a guy who was trying to get custody of his children from my client, who was the children’s mother. He presented himself in court in a suit, tie, and as a hard-working pillar of society. On the web, we found multiple pictures to show he was anything but that! He repeatedly posed with a huge blunt, while making gang signs, and holding a gun. Needless to say, my client got custody of the child in that case, and the other side paid her Attorney’s Fees because they were less than truthful, and we caught him en flagrante on the web.

Prosecutor’s and Police offices also check the web for information on Defendants and/or suspects. All of the Miranda rights or 4th and 5th Amendment protections in the world won’t make a difference if the client voluntarily posts information for the public. My most head smacking example of this is when my client’s co-defendant posted all of the property he’d stolen and detailed how he did it. (This is a matter of public record, not something subject to any attorney client privilege). Give yourself a fighting chance in any case, and just don’t post if you are involved in ANY kind of litigation. Don’t post if you think you may be charged with a crime. I know it’s tempting and that you want to post about the awesome outfit you put together, the wonderful meal you ate, or even how cute your kids are. Often, you aren’t thinking about what is in the background, which may not be information you want the public at large to access. If you feel compelled to post, think of what your mama or grandmama would say if they saw what you posted (because they will!!!). So in conclusion, don’t post if you are involved in litigation. If you aren’t involved in litigation, keep it G rated, because the next time you are applying for a job, I guarantee you’ll wish you had!