Social Media & Evidence in Family LawOne of the recurring threads of the 2014 Alberta Law Conference held in Calgary on January 30 and 31, was the continual growth and advances in technology and social media, and the corresponding effects on the practice of law.

Of particular note for family lawyers, where facebook posts, pictures and messages and text message communications often make their way into Affidavits, is that these types of technological “evidence” ought to be approached with caution. The Friday afternoon Social Media and Evidence Panel demonstrated the various ways in which social media sites and text messages can be easily altered using free sites available on the internet and by the average person lacking any particular expertise in the area of information technology. For instance, the website http://iphonetextgenerator.com/ allows a user to create text message screenshots, that could then be printed and relied upon in court.

Without a doubt, advances in technology and social media are accompanied by questions regarding the authenticity of those types of evidence.

Fortunately, companies such as Urgentis Digital Crisis Solutions (founded by Mr. Philip Fodchuk) have come on the scene, using information technology to obtain more information regarding cell phones, computers, etc., and the information created and stored on same. When dealing with “evidence” critical to a legal case, these sorts of companies could prove to be an invaluable resource for lawyers.