A recent case from the United States District Court in Nevada demonstrates the importance of preserving social media evidence once litigation is begun or anticipated. In Painter v. Atwood, a 22 year-old employee of a dental practice alleged that the dentist forcibly held her down with his pants pulled down after which she suffered PTSD and was forced to quit. She admitted that she deleted Facebook posts about how she liked working for Dr. Atwood after she hired a lawyer. The district court held that her attorney had a duty to advise her to retain relevant evidence and not delete it. Therefore the court held that the jury would be instructed that they can assume that the Facebook postings would have been favorable to Dr. Atwood’s position in this matter.

Take away: Never delete social media postings that may be relevant to a lawsuit you are thinking about bringing.