Getting the Goods on the Other Side: Social Media and Evidence from Other Proceedings (Civil or Criminal)

SKU: 62012.03

Clients are sometimes dealing with legal issues in multiple areas of law. When considering strategy and tactics, counsel should also evaluate how the options considered may affect a client’s position on other legal issues. This paper focuses on the advantages of keeping tabs on a client’s other litigation arenas for the client’s benefit: first, to avoid weakening a client’s position in those other arenas, and second, to gain information from those other arenas.

The paper consists of two parts: (1) employing social media to litigate; and (2) discovering what exists in other litigation arenas and utilizing it for the client’s benefit. In the first part, the legal principles that have developed with respect to accessing and utilizing information gathered from social networking sites is discussed in the context of civil law applications, criminal law applications, and ethical issues. In the second part, a range of topics related to the intersection of legal arenas are discussed, including: statutorily compelled statements and the right against self-incrimination; disclosure and use of pre-trial proceedings or witness testimony in other proceedings; access to Crown files by civil litigants; and the impact of a criminal or traffic verdict on a related civil case.

This paper is part of a collection presented at LESA’s Intersection of Family and Criminal Law program held in Calgary on March 11, 2017 and in Edmonton on March 18, 2017.


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