Consider the following facts. A man received an $80,000 confidential settlement for his age-discrimination claim against his former employer. However, he forfeited that settlement after his daughter posted on her Facebook page that “Mama and Papa Snay won the case against Gulliver. Gulliver is now officially paying for my vacation to Europe this summer. SUCK IT.” Because this Facebook post violated a confidential settlement agreement, it cost the plaintiff the full settlement.

In another case, the Virginia State Bar Disciplinary Board suspended an attorney for five years for instructing his client to delete certain damaging photographs from his Facebook account, withholding the photographs from opposing counsel, and withholding from the trial court the emails discussing the plan to delete the information from the client’s Facebook page. In addition, the trial court imposed $722,000 in sanctions ($542,000 upon the lawyer and $180,000 upon his client) to compensate opposing counsel for their legal fees.

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