E-Discovery remains a priority in the Pennsylvania courts, with both the state Supreme Court and the Allegheny Court of Common Pleas recently issuing guidance on discoverability.
In the Trail v. Lesko decision earlier this month, Allegheny Court of Common Pleas Judge Wettick denied both parties’ motions to discover private Facebook content.
As Buchanan Ingersoll & Rooney Labor & Employment Counsel Jaime S. Tuite explained to the Pittsburgh Tribune Review, whether a judge permits discovery of social media depends on the type of case, damages being sought and how the person uses their Facebook account.
Judge Wettick’s ruling is “similar to the courts in Pennsylvania” that had already ruled on discoverability, Tuite wrote in a client advisory on the implications of Trail.
More on social media discovery – “Judge Wettick Issues Opinion on the Discoverability of Private Facebook Content,” (July 24, 2012)
“[Trail] provides additional guidance for Pennsylvania courts when analyzing the discoverability of Facebook accounts,” Tuite explained in the advisory.
“Courts will likely utilize the balancing test Judge Wettick articulated: the degree of intrusion under [Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure] 4011(b), which is typically low given the public nature of social media, weighed against the threshold relevancy requirement.”