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Lombardi Law Firm

Social Media and the Judicial System


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7/16/2015
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A gun shop owner in Texas recently lost his business in bankruptcy and was jailed for seven weeks based on his refusal to provide the judge with requested passwords to access his social media accounts.  The shop owner, Jeremy Alcede, strongly contended that the social media accounts were purely personal and not subject to the bankruptcy proceeding involving his business.  The court disagreed, holding that Mr. Alcede's Facebook site was used by him to promote his business and draw in customers, making it a business asset and subject to the court's control in the bankruptcy proceeding.  The role of social media in business is a new territory in the legal world, especially when the account may be both personal and business-related.  Based on this ruling, if there is a business component to the account, it may very well be subject to the court's control in a bankruptcy case, or potentially any case involving the company where the social media account can provide useful and necessary information.



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