Nick Holmes over at Binary Law laments the Social Meeja Blues and I have to confess to occasionally feeling a bit overloaded by technological possibilities and I will do a post soon on the most useful resources for family lawyers and those which can help you keep up without sinking. In the meantime I thought I would do a round up of some interesting snippets on technology and law.
The Bar jumps into the modern age with tweets from the Bar conference & Inner Temple tweets too.
The Fourth Emergency Service has set up an online legal business and the Guardian reports that more than half of firms surveyed expected to lose work to these sorts of legal providers. At the moment the actual legal business is referred on but as the Guardian says the AA is looking ahead to the now fairly near future when non-lawyers will be able to invest in firms directly.
Facebook is cited in almost 1 in 5 online divorce petitions the Telegraph reported some time ago & Matthias Mikkelson reports on his blog about peak break up times according to status updates on Facebook.
The American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers say that 81% of their members have used evidence from a social networking site in the last 5 years. I am finding a growing number of cases involving information from Facebook in particular - indiscreet references to heavy drinking and hangovers, threats of violence, comments on what happened or will happen at court, new boyfriends etc. Top tip to our clients: make sure that you block your ex and look carefully at the discretion of your mutual friends or just DON'T POST IT. Along the lines of don't do anything you wouldn't like photographed. Similar advice from Scottish Lawyers Gibson Kerr in relation to Twitter: resist the bitter twitter urge!
There are a number of facebook pages dealing with family law issues including this one on Divorce and Divorce Online. Family Law Week has its own facebook page but so far not much on it. There are also a number of campaign groups such as Social Services: the stolen children - you can find these groups by using the search facility - try family law, care proceedings, social services, parental alienation.
The same is true of You Tube which has a number of short films particularly covering the secret court debate for example, Bill Maloney reports on his attempts to get into the Inner London FPC. The Government is also making use of You Tube - for example, Tim Loughton announced Eileen Munro's review of child protection
Skype contact has recently been ordered in a US case
and is obviously a useful way of facilitating contact in relocation cases or case where parents live at some distance from one another. See this comment piece from Anita Ramastry, Professor of Law, on Parenting in Cyberspace in which she sounds a note of caution that contact using new technology should not be seen as providing an adequate substitute for face to face contact.
This Online abuse investigation report on Community Care warns of the dangers that still linger long after an initial posting (in this case of photographs).
All that said do go and see the film The Social Network - it's fab and some good litigation scenes. Interesting commentary by Zadie Smith about it being a film about 2.0 people made by 1.0 people. And if you don't know what I mean you are definitely a 1.0 person! And now even the most obvious 1.0 person, Her Majesty the Queen, will have a facebook page from tomorrow.
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