The more and more we utilize the internet to communicate, the more often the issue of admissibility of electronic communications matters. Facebook is listed in a third of divorce filings. Every minute, nearly 1 million pieces of information are shared on Facebook alone. The Internal Revenue Service has admitted that it may (and probably already does) utilize social network data in preparing audits. Law enforcement across the country is utilizing social networks for everything from alibi investigations to compilations of gang affiliations.
In the law, evidence is governed by strict rules. These rules are set up so that only information that is trustworthy and relevant is submitted to the trier of fact for consideration. The internet makes these rules difficult to apply. This is largely due to the appearance of anonymity on the web coupled with the ease of access to personal information. For example, whose to say someone didn’t take your cellular phone and make that defamatory comment on Facebook? Maybe that picture of you on vacation posted during a personal injury claim was really a photograph from 5 years ago. The point is, the internet poses some very interesting and novel challenges to rather old evidentiary rules. During my 3 year judicial clerkship, I saw a marked increase in the amount of people seeking admission of texts, social media communications and emails. This piqued my interest, and in turn led me to write a thorough analysis of the law as it existed in 2012. To learn more about E-Admissibility and the issues it presents, click on the link below to read the entire paper.