Cyber-stalking lawyers

“I’m doing a fraud case tomorrow,” said a pupil, “and my instructions say that I should try and undermine the so-called independent witness. How am I meant to do that when I have no evidence to go on?”

“I always check out sites like Facebook and Twitter to see if there are any connections between the claimant and the witness,” said another pupil. “You’d be surprised how much comes up.”

“Though it could also make you a witness in the case,” said TheCreep.

“Oh, that doesn’t seem to bother some district judges,” said the pupil.

“So how exactly do you do it?” said TheBusker.

“Well, depending on their privacy settings, I first of all find them on Facebook and check whether they are friends. Then friends of friends and then the same for followers on Twitter.”

“I see…” said TheBusker. The pupil now had the attention of the whole room.

“Then I check to see if either of them appears in the other’s photos, even if they aren’t tagged. I’ve had a lot of success with that one.”

There was silence before BusyBody asked, “Surely that must breach some sort of the right to privacy or data protection?”

“I’ve no idea,” said the pupil, “but judges don’t seem particularly sensitive to such issues when they think someone’s coming to their court with a bare-faced lie. I even had one judge checking out a Facebook connection for himself whilst we were in court.”

“What do your solicitors think of it?” said TheBusker.

“They love the results. I’ve had a pile of cases in off the back of it. Honestly, if you’re not using social media as part of your investigations then you’re seriously missing a trick,” he concluded.

“A brave new world indeed,” said OldRuin.

BabyBarista is a fictional account of a junior barrister written by Tim Kevan whose new novel is Law and Peace. For more information and to read past posts visit Cartoons by Alex Williams, author of 101 Ways to Leave the Law.

March 2, 2012 · Tim Kevan · Comments Closed
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