Lawyer Posts Photo of Client’s Underwear on Facebook, Quickly Leads to Mistrial
We’ve seen plenty of stories over the last few years involving court proceedings, social media, and how the two often run up against each other. We’ve seen a couple of cases that have gotten thrown out due to juries with impatient Twitter thumbs. We also saw a recent case where a young girl was nearly held in contempt for tweeting the names of her rapists during a trial. Most of the time, courtroom proceedings need to be keep private, and we know that social media simply doesn’t lead to much privacy.
Today’s social media idiot doesn’t come from the jury, or the plaintiff’s side. This ethically challenged Facebooker comes from the defense.
According to The Miami Herald, a Miami defense attorney has been fired after she uploaded a photo of her client’s leopard-print underwear to Facebook. Anya Cintron Stern reportedly snapped the photo of the unusual briefs when her client, Fermin Recalde, had his family bring him some fresh clothes to wear during the trial.
She promptly uploaded the photo to Facebook, saying that she couldn’t believe that the family thought it was “proper attire for a trial.”
As you may have guessed, someone spotted the photo in their news feed and notified the Judge in the case, who then declared a mistrial.
Recalde was on trial for murder, having been accused of stabbing his girlfriend to death back in 2010. According, to the Herald, Recalde had been attempting to fire his lawyers for some time.
Going forward, it’s obvious that legal proceedings will never be the same, as long as social media is so popular. Although Judges now routinely gives social media instructions before trials even begin, the temptation to tweet or make a quick post on Facebook is to much too handle for some participants.