Why Should I Avoid Social Media During Franchise Litigation?

social media franchise litigation

Statistics consistently show that around four in five Americans have some form of social media profile to share life events, connect with friends and family and communicate and express themselves online. Naturally, this number will include many franchisees, such as yourself. While people find many benefits to social media, using it during pending franchise litigation can prove disastrous. Your franchisor could use what you post online to disprove your case against them. For more information on why you should avoid social media during franchise litigation, please read on, then contact one of our experienced franchisee litigation attorneys today.

Why should you not use social media during pending franchise litigation?

Social media is not as private as you may think. Even if you crank up your privacy settings, a diligent investigator on your franchisor’s side may gain access to your pages. Should they do so, they might find the following evidence:

Your content contradicts your testimony:

If you claim that your franchisor has violated the terms of the franchise agreement and you sustained damages as a result, but post content showing that you yourself violated the franchise agreement, you can expect your franchisor’s lawyer to use it against you.

Comments from family and friends:

Even the content that witnesses post on social media can hurt your case. They might contradict your claims about your damages, or make statements about how much money you hope to win through your case.

The admissibility of social media posts in court:

While social media posts are not automatically admissible in court, the court may render them admissible if it determines the posts follow the Rules of Evidence in your state. Typically, courts categorize out-of-court statements as inadmissible hearsay. However, they routinely make exceptions for the statements of a party. When you are involved in franchise litigation, your statements to others outside of court are admissible against you because you are a party to the case. In that scenario, the court will count your social media posts as statements. They may also admit statements by family and friends on social media if they contradict the same person’s testimony in court.

Can you use social media safely during a franchise lawsuit?

While you should stop using social media altogether, you may have legitimate reasons for continued use. In which case, we offer the following tips:

  • Put on the strictest privacy settings
  • Go through your friends list and remove anyone you do not know outside of social media
  • Never discuss business problems or anything regarding your case online
  • Do not post photos, videos or check-ins of yourself
  • Ask your friends to not post or tag you in any posts
  • Assume your franchisor will see anything you post

Speak with one of our skilled franchise law attorneys if you have any further questions.

Contact Our Experienced Franchise Lawyer Today

If you have any franchising issues, contact Fortman Spann, LLC online today to schedule your initial consultation.

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