When All Else Fails – Facebook as a Legal Platform

Typically when we login to our social networks we receive light hearted messages from friends, networking requests from professionals, or status updates from followers, unfortunately this women wasn’t greeted with the type of content you look forward to.

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In the BBC today there was an article about a woman and her husband who had defaulted on a home loan and ironically fell out of reach with the lawyers trying to notify them that their home was to be repossessed. As it is necessary to notify the defendant before repossession the Australian lawyer thought outside the box in his attempts to track down the couple.

After confirming the defendant’s facebook profile matched the individual they were attempting to contact, an Australian Supreme Court granted permission to use the social networking site as a means to contact the couple as long as the lawyer made the message private. This is the first time in Australia that a social network has been considered a legitimate forum through which to serve legally binding papers. (Read the whole article: Legal Papers Served Via Facebook)

It’s quite interesting to see the development of social networks beyond simply a personal branding space or strategic marketing forum. Much like companies such as Comcast or Dell have been using networks such as twitter for customer service, we could see a vast number of law firms expanding to serve clients via online social networks, somewhat eliminating the barriers of geographic location. Another interesting factor is not simply the networks themselves, but the developmental technologies that have allowed these online spaces to become the most viable means of communication for many individuals. With the introduction of mobile web and 3 G networks there’s been a transformation in how people connect, whether it’s friend to friend or lawyer to client, a simple phone call may not be the best option anymore.

Photo Cred: P. C. Loadletter


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Filed under Legal, Social media, Social Networking

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