Monday, September 13, 2010

Using Social Networking Evidence in Workers' Comp Cases

Duhl Gregory M. Duhl (William Mitchell) & Jaclyn S. Millner (Fitch, Johnson, Larson & Held) have just posted on SSRN their article (forthcoming 31 Pace L. Rev.) Social Networking and Workers’ Compensation Law at the Crossroads.  Here's an excerpt from the abstract:
... In this article, we examine how social networking has influenced workers’ compensation law, looking at, in particular, the intersection of professional responsibility, discovery, privacy, and evidence with social networking in state workers’ compensation systems.... The flexible and self-contained structure of workers’ compensation systems provides an ideal backdrop against which to examine how information from social networking sites can be used as evidence to resolve civil disputes.

A state’s workers’ compensation system should use the rules that have traditionally applied to non-electronic information as a starting point to address issues arising from lawyers gathering and introducing into evidence information stored on social networking sites. At the same time, because of the efficiency of workers’ compensation law and the large discretion vested in its judges, workers’ compensation systems have the potential to be laboratories for new technologies and how they can be used in the resolution of disputes, both inside and outside of workers’ compensation.
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