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The court is being asked to undo the $65 million settlement reached in theFacebook v. ConnectU case so the famously litigious and toned Winklevoss twins (and their lesser-written-about Harvard pal) can take a fresh stab at getting even more money from arch-enemy Mark Zuckerberg.

As reported in Legal Pad yesterday, Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, a techie who responded to an e-mail from Legal Pad in lightning-fast speed, offered: “I don’t have a Facebook account; never have.” The other two judges on the panel said through their chambers they weren’t keen on answering the question.

During a speech at Vanderbilt’s law school, U.S. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer mentioned the film while making the point that judges must consider new technology when dealing with constitutional issues.

“If I’m applying the First Amendment, I have to apply it to a world where there’s an Internet, and there’s Facebook, and there are movies like … ‘The Social Network,’ which I couldn’t even understand,” he said, according to AP.

The matter before the Ninth Circuit is over old-fashioned issues such as the enforceability of settlements and allegations of securities fraud. Still, it’ll be interesting to hear if the judges make any commentary about the social networking phenomenon.

The Court has granted a TV station access to record the arguments and Legal Pad will report as well.  This will be an interesting case to watch.

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Shawn Sutherland, Paralegal and Author

In 1988, two Carrollton teens went missing and the case quickly stalled.  Shawn Sutherland a Patents Law Paralegal, who grew up in Carrollton, decided last year to write a book about the missing teens, Stacie Madison and Susan Renee Smalley.  The book, This Night Wounds Time: The Mysterious Disappearances of Stacie Madison and Susan Smalley reopened the cold case.  According to Carrollton police Sgt. Joel Payne, “What this book did was push the full reset button, we threw out all the assumptions, and we started from scratch.”

With the case revived, investigators are re-examining theories dismissed long ago. There’s a heightened urgency to get anyone with information about the case to come forward.

The department and Payne, the lead detective, are throwing new resources into the case. The Denton County district attorney’s office also assigned an investigator after learning of a connection in its county.

There is a Facebook page, which gives more information on Stacie and Susan.  I am thrilled to learn that one of our own paralegal brothers is responsible for reopening this sad case.  I hope that the families of these two girls receive some closure.  Persons with any information regarding the Madison/Smalley case should contact the Carrollton Police Department at 972-466-3300.

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As a Paralegal, in my opinion, I believe it is our duty to make sure that none of the client’s personal information, (other than what is required) goes to the Court.  I make sure that I redact all fax, telephone numbers and addresses of the clients from any documents sent to the Court.  While this does cost the client a little bit more for the additional time for me to do this, it can be explained to the client that the little extra they are paying now may prevent them from experiencing a major financial loss in the future due to identity theft.

I found this interesting article today written by my friend and colleague, Eric G. Young:

One hot topic in cyberlaw circles is how to protect a client’s right of privacy in their documents and personal papers.  Generally speaking, however, discussions about this topic tend to center on appropriate methods of electronic storage or transmission of client information via electronic means to and from third parties.  What about when you are filing documents with the court the old-fashioned way?  Can you take steps to preserve your client’s privacy in that situation?  Absolutely.cyberesq.wordpress.com, Cyber-Esq., Mar 2010

You should read the whole article.

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Last year a San Francisco Superior Court judge dismissed 600 potential jurors after several acknowledged going online to research the criminal case before them.

Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon challenged her misdemeanor embezzlement conviction after discovering five jurors “friended” one another on Facebook during the trial.

And a federal judge in Florida declared a mistrial after eight jurors admitted Web surfing about a drug case.

But the rules for jury service in state and federal courts alike are evolving to grapple with this 21st century issue. New jury instructions are being adopted and electronics are being banned from courtrooms.

In January, the federal court’s top administrative office, the Judicial Conference of the United States, issued so-called “Twitter instructions” to every federal judge, which are designed to be read to jurors at the start of the trial and before deliberations.

“You may not use any electronic device or media” in connection with the case, the recommended federal instructions admonish. They also bar visits to “any Internet chat room, blog, or website such as Facebook, My Space, LinkedIn, YouTube or Twitter.”

San Francisco Superior Court on Jan. 1 began including such instructions after some of the 600 jurors said they went online because there were no explicit prohibitions against such independent research.

“You may not do research about any issues involved in the case,” the new instruction states. “You may not blog, Tweet, or use the Internet to obtain or share information.”

A California legislator last month introduced a bill that would charge wayward jurors with a crime.  So, keep those cell phones off when in court, don’t friend any of the other jurors on Facebook and don’t tweet what is happening in court while you are sitting on the jury.

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Facebook Wall Of Shame « Cyber-Esq.

Posted using ShareThis

This is an excellent article by Eric G. Young, about social content on Facebook. Please read the article and let Mr. Young know your thoughts as well. You will find other excellent articles by Mr. Young as well.

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This article was found at Paralegal Gateway’s Weblog and originally was written at Lawyerist.com.  This information can be very helpful when you need to obtain information from either Facebook or MySpace for your litigation.

Document Getting information from Facebook and MySpace, the two biggest social networks, can be an important litigation tool. While Facebook will accept service by fax or mail, MySpace requires personal service on its registered agent at the following address:

2121 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Here is all the information from MySpace:

MySpace received your request for information regarding proper service of legal process. MySpace requires personal service of legal requests to our registered agent in Los Angeles.

Please note that MySpace requires specific information in order to comply with your legal request. Providing only the user’s first and last names or dates of birth is not sufficient to identify the user’s profile. MySpace requires that you provide the user’s unique friend ID number or url. The friend ID number is located in the url line. For example, within the url http://www.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewProfile&friendID=6221&Mytoken=20050518161358, the friend ID is 6221.

The type of information MySpace can produce in response to a legal request is restricted by federal law. With a subpoena, MySpace may lawfully produce basic subscriber information and IP logs for a user’s account. MySpace is prohibited from lawfully producing the contents of a user’s private mail messages or stored content files held or maintained on behalf of a user to a any non-government entity, by the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) 18 U.S.C. §§ 2702-2703. The materials protected from disclosure by Section 2702(a)(2) include MySpace user content including, but not limited to, friend lists, photos, blogs and private messages.

If these records are truly integral to the instant case, the clearly available mechanism for obtaining them is for the owner of the MySpace accounts in question to consent. For civil matters, this consent must be accompanied by a subpoena. To provide proper consent, MySpace requires that a user supply a signed statement containing the friend ID for the account, the password associated with the account, the user’s zip code, and the birth date provided to MySpace. You may also obtain an Order from the court compelling the owner of the account to consent to the disclosure of the emails in question.

MySpace requires personal service of subpoenas in civil matters. MySpace will accept personal service at 2121 Avenue of the Stars, Suite 700, Los Angeles, CA 90067 between the hours of 9:30-12:30 and 2:30-5:30. Personal service will also be accepted at CSC locations throughout the state of California. For a list of California locations, please call 888-690-2882. All subpoenas should be addressed to the Custodian of Records for MySpace.com. Additionally, MySpace will only accept subpoenas from out-of-state civil litigants if they have been properly domesticated through a California court.

The author followed up with Facebook and obtained the contact information to (1) preserve information, and (2) get ahold of it. Here is the address and fax where you should send your subpoena or court order:

Facebook
Attn: Security Department
1601 South California Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94304

fax: 650.644.3229

For civil matters, Facebook requires a subpoena from California or New York. Here is the full e-mail from Facebook:

Thank you for contacting Facebook.

If you are requesting that information on our site be preserved, please send a preservation order by mail or fax to the following address:

Facebook
1601 S California Avenue
Palo Alto, CA 94304
Attn: Security Department
Fax Number (650) 644-3229

Please provide as much of the following information as possible to expedite your request:

– Your full contact information (name, physical address, phone and email):
– Response date due (please allow 2-4 weeks for processing):
– Full name of user(s):
– Full URL to Facebook profile:
– School/networks:
– Birth date:
– Known email addresses:
– IM account ID:
– Phone numbers:
– Address:
– Period of activity (specific dates will most likely expedite your request):

Please be sure that your contact information is valid, so that we can contact you with updates on your request status.

Although providing this information will enable us to identify the account in question so that we can preserve available information, we will also need a valid subpoena or other court order in order to provide this information to you. This subpoena or court order should be mailed or faxed to the above address.

Governmental Agency

Please note that if the requesting party is a governmental agency, a search warrant is required for private inbox and/or outbox communication 180 days old or less. See 18 U.S.C. § 2703(a).

Civil Matters

For information being requested in a civil matter, a valid California or New York subpoena is required.

Per our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy we may release information in an expedited manner for cases involving imminent bodily harm. Please contact us immediately via email at [subpoena /at/ facebook /dot/ com] with the subject “IMMINENT HARM” to request data under this clause. Determination of the amount of information which may be released under this clause is at Facebook’s sole discretion.

Source: Lawyerist.com

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