Legal News

How Embarrassing Lawsuit Details are Going Viral Online
Download PDF
1 Star2 Stars3 Stars4 Stars5 Stars (No Ratings Yet)
Loading...

when lawsuits go viral

Summary: The federal electronic filing system is allowing sexually charged cases to go viral on the internet before a trial.

When federal judge James Robertson aided the inception of federal electronic filing, he lacked insight into where it would lead. “I don’t think any of us had any idea what the words ‘going viral’ meant when we rolled this out 10 or 12 years ago,” he said. But nowadays, social media can pick up on a given case, and popularize embarrassing details, as soon as they are filed, rendering a plaintiff or defendant notorious, before any legal proceedings take place, as a de facto vigilante system.

  
What
Where


A former saleswoman from Zillow, for instance, filed a suit against her former employer regarding pornographic messages received from male colleagues. The internet attention the case gained, before anything like evidence had been applied, lead to a public relations crisis for Zillow.

“If I file a complaint and call a press conference and tell the world what the allegations are, and if those allegations are defamatory, I might get sued,” said Dan Siegel, the lawyer for Shannon Miller, a female coach who was cut from her job, while her male counterpart was not. However, if those allegations are circulated on the internet, no suit will arise.

The former Zillow employee, Rachel Kremer, found herself an internet celebrity. Her filing that said she had received graphic photos and was subjected to “sexual torture” gained incredible feedback on Facebook.

Get JD Journal in Your Mail

Subscribe to our FREE daily news alerts and get the latest updates on the most happening events in the legal, business, and celebrity world. You also get your daily dose of humor and entertainment!!




“From the plaintiff’s perspective, it’s one of the great equalizers,” giving them ground against wealthy defendants, said Debra Katz, a Washington lawyer who has handled sexual harassment suits for three decades. But is this fair, does it help? “These cases are a mess,” said Katz.

Imagine that, internet smear campaigns may be biased and cloud justice?



“You’ve been accused of something without an opportunity to defend yourself” said Juan Monteverde, a Manhattan lawyer who received a call from his wife regarding an email she received of a complaint a younger colleague had filed against him that he coerced her to sex. Monteverde had not even heard of the case yet.

Not only could these cases lead to a defendant being socially judged before a fair trial, but they could also make some victims reluctant to file as well if they do not want online media attention or are afraid that their private plight will go viral.

Even a successful suit can render a client “the complainer, or the slut who allegedly slept with the boss,” through a simple Google search, explained Danielle Citron, a University of Maryland law professor.

These are some of the travails that the legal system currently faces, and it must adapt to the new social setting, as always.

Is the capacity for a lawsuit to go viral a detterent to justice?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

News Source: New York Times



 

RELEVANT JOBS

Corporate Attorney

USA-NJ-Fairfield

Full-Time or Part-Time Corporate Attorney We are a boutique corporate and commercial transactiona...

Apply now

Staff Attorney

USA-ME-Augusta

LEGAL SERVICES FOR THE ELDERLY STAFF ATTORNEY POSITION LSE is a statewide non-profit organizat...

Apply now

Associate Attorney - $65,000 minimum to start (more for experience)

USA-FL-Saint Augustine Beach

ST. AUGUSTINE ASSOCIATE ATTORNEY Membership in Good Standing with Florida Bar and able to re...

Apply now

Helpline Attorney

USA-ME-Augusta

Helpline Attorney Position (fulltime) Legal Services for the Elderly, Augusta, Maine. LSE is ...

Apply now

BCG FEATURED JOB

Locations:

Keyword:



Search Now

Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-FL-Maitland

Maitland office of our client seeks litigation associate attorney with 2+ years of experience in def...

Apply Now

Litigation Associate Attorney

USA-NC-Charlotte

Charlotte office of our client seeks associate attorney with 1-3 years of civil litigation. The cand...

Apply Now

Litigation Attorney at Law

USA-NJ-Eatontown

Eatontown office of our client seeks litigation attorney at law with experience. The candidate shoul...

Apply Now

Most Popular

SEARCH IN ARCHIVE

To Top