July 28, 2011 Articles

The Limits of Electronic Discovery in Family Cases

By Dolly Hernandez

Modern technology has brought a new wave of evidence to marital and family-law proceedings as parties are utilizing electronically stored information (ESI) found on social media websites such as Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, and LinkedIn, along with information stored on computers and cell phones to prove aspects of their case. The technology that makes our lives easier also creates evidence. For instance, our cell phones are used to create text messages. Our computers contain our Internet search history, cookies, and items downloaded from the Internet. As a result of litigants’ increased dependence on technology, practitioners must become familiar with the type of information one can garner through the Internet, a computer, or a cell phone and determine how this information, in the form of photos, tweets, wall posts, emails, and blog postings, to name a few, can be obtained and eventually become evidence—or the smoking gun—in a family-law proceeding.

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