Every day, newspapers and social media deliver fresh examples of poorly conceived and badly executed public statements that impact a legal position. As a result, lawyers and communications professionals who pay attention are being treated to a master class on how uncontrolled and undisciplined public statements can tank a case.
The communications missteps we have witnessed in recent months remind us that what is said in the public record – including on social media – can and will be used against the client in a court of law. The Trump campaign’s Twitter statements were used as evidence against the now-President’s travel ban in litigation. The White House’s statement explaining FBI Director Comey’s firing was undercut by the President’s contradictory statements about his motives, possibly inflaming the case for obstruction of justice.
But Washington is not the only source of examples.