Sarasota Injury Lawyer M. David Shapiro Comments On Facebook Privacy Issues Facing Florida Courts

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Civil trial attorney M. David Shapiro weighed in on the courts usage of Facebook photos as evidence in the Nucci v Target slip and fall case.

Photos on Facebook are used to showcase only the best of times. Thus, evidence from social media will likely falsely minimize the impact of injuries.

In the recent Court ruling, Maria F. Leon Nucci and Henry Leon, Petitioners v. Target Corporation, American Cleaning Contracting, inc., and First Choice Building Maintenance, Inc., Respondents. Case no. 4d14-138, January 7, 2015 at the Florida Fourth District Court of Appeals, the Court stated, “the relevance of the (Facebook) photographs overwhelms the litigant’s minimal privacy interest in them.” Prior to the trial, the claimant removed some photos from Facebook and the court ordered her to produce them.

The court's position being, “If a photograph is worth a thousand words, there is no better portrayal of what an individual’s life was like than those photographs the individual has chosen to share through social media before the existence of any motive to manipulate reality. The photos sought here are thus powerfully relevant to the damage issue in the lawsuit.”

Attorney M. David Shapiro from the Sarasota injury law firm of Shapiro Goldman Babboni and Walsh had this comment on the court's decision to use the claimant's personal photos, “this Court was wrong for several reasons. First, it presumes that in every personal injury case there is a tendency to “manipulate reality.”

Second, the posting of photos on Facebook is generally “the manipulation of reality.” Why else are people always happy and having fun in the photos? Can you imagine someone posting a picture when they’re in the hospital or crying in pain?

Generally, it’s used to showcase only the best of times. Thus, the evidence will likely falsely minimize the impact of the injuries.” Shapiro also added, “in the event misleading photos will enter the case, it is important to question the prospective jurors about Facebook, as well as seek a younger juror who will be aware of the purpose of Facebook.” Shapiro said.

About Sarasota Attorney M. David Shapiro

Attorney M. David Shapiro is an AV-rated civil trial lawyer, the highest rating awarded to litigation attorneys. He is also board certified by the Florida Bar. Shapiro is an experienced trial lawyer who has earned the respect of his peers in the legal community. He has successfully litigated civil rights cases involving access to courts and rights under the Rehabilitation Act to the United States Supreme Court. For more than 20 years, Shapiro has practiced exclusively in the area of personal injury and wrongful death in Sarasota Florida

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