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NY's Highest Court Issues Landmark Ruling on Facebook Disclosure

Today, the New York Court of Appeals issued a ruling allowing broad disclosure of photographs and messages posted on Facebook. Moreover, it allowed the disclosure of the "data revealing the timing and number of characters in posted messages (which) would be relevant to plaintiffs' claim that she suffered injuries that caused her to have difficulty writing and using the computer, particularly her claim that she is painstakingly slow in crafting messages."

The plaintiff claimed that she fell from a horse owned by the defendant. She allegedly suffered spinal and brain injuries resulting in cognitive deficits, difficulties communicating by computer, severely restricted activities and social isolation. Before the accident, the plaintiff testified that she posted frequently on Facebook with both messages and photographs and since the accident could no longer or with tremendous difficulty. The defense successfully argued that they should not be limited to only those photographs the plaintiff planned to use at trial.

The defense convinced the Court of Appeals that "the Facebook messages would reveal the amount of time it takes plaintiff to write a post or respond to a message." The Court explained that Facebook discovery should be just as broad as any other conventional source subject to the same relevancy, privacy and privilege considerations. The Court pointed out that the disclosure of a party's entire Facebook account would be no more appropriate than a request for every photograph taken of a plaintiff since birth. However, the Court of Appeals explained that Facebook photos and messages should not be subjected to either a higher or lower level of scrutiny than traditional equivalents for relevancy or privacy objections. Forman v Henkin, 2018 NY Slip Op 01015

Ronald C. Burke, Esq

Trial Attorney with 30+ Years of Experience Attorney Ronald C. Burke, Esq. has more than 30 years of experience and has focused his career on representing clients in cases involving personal injury, medical malpractice and legal malpractice. He is a seasoned trial lawyer and has won many seven-figure settlements and verdicts for his clients over the years, including many case victories listed among the largest in the history of the New York State. He has been featured in the news and is a regular lecturer for the New York County Lawyers Association, as well as having lectured before the New York State Bar Association. Ron is also an attorney with Kelner & Kelner, a New York personal injury law firm. Awards and Accolades Mr. Burke's awards and accolades are many. Among them, he has been included in New York Super Lawyers® each year since 2010, and he has received the highest-possible AV® Rating from Martindale-Hubbell®. Verdict Search, a part of the New York Law Journal, frequently recognizes his notable successes after winning some of the highest settlements and verdicts in past years. He was also featured in their list of the "Top New York Verdicts of 2011" and "Top New York Settlements of 2012." He is a member of the New York State Bar Association and is licensed to practice law in the U.S. District Court for the Southern and Eastern Districts of New York, as well as before the United States Supreme Court. When Attorney Burke is not handling legal malpractice cases, he is highly involved in the local community. He is a member of the Village of Rockville Centre Volunteer Fire Department, has served on the local school board and as Chairman of the local Zoning Board. Learn more about Attorney Burke and how he can skillfully handle your malpractice case by contacting the Law Offices of Ronald C. Burke, Esq. right away to schedule your complimentary case evaluation. Our firm is here to help! Contact a New York Legal Malpractice Attorney Our firm provides each client's case with thorough preparation and aggressive representation, ensuring that you win the best possible results for your case whether it is settled or goes to trial. As a seasoned trial lawyer, Mr. Burke can provide the strong and relentless representation you need to establish negligence in a legal malpractice case and to recover any damages you may have suffered. Our firm can recover compensation for pre-trial and trial malpractice, violations of fee arrangements, loss of income, pain and suffering, and much more. Contact us today!

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