Sucker punch

By | 26th April 2012

Jeffrey Stern, Esq. of New Jersey law firm Stern Law LLC reports on a recent decision of a Pennsylvania court (Gallagher v. Urbanovich, No. 2010 – 33418, C.P. Mont. Co. Feb. 27, 2012) where the judge allowed a man claiming he was sucker-punched during a work-sponsored soccer game to investigate the Facebook page of his alleged attacker to find information to bolster his civil lawsuit. [Be Careful What You Post…the Court May Be Looking, Stern Law, 15th April, 2012]

The judge ordered the alleged attacker to not delete or otherwise erase any information on his Facebook account.

This sort of order is not new and Gallagher is only the latest in a line of cases which have been reported in my previous musings going as far back as McMillen v. Hummingbird Speedway, Inc., No. 113-2010 CD (C.P. Jefferson, Sept. 9, 2010), through Zimmerman v. Weise Markets, Inc., 2011 Pa. Dist. & Cnty. Dec. LEXIS 187 (Pa. County Ct. May 19, 2011) and on to Largent v. Reed, Case No. 2009-1823 (C.P. Franklin Nov. 8, 2011).

Lawyers in this jurisdiction should by now be well aware that what you post on social media sites is disclosable.

To avoid the sucker punch, Stern suggests four rules of thumb:

  • Do not accept “friend” invitations from people you do not know.
  • Adjust the privacy settings on your profiles to private.
  • Do not post anything to your profiles discussing your lawsuit and/or related injuries.
  • Reconsider posting pictures, especially those that will be used to dispute your injuries or tarnish your image.

Simple really! Or as simple as not trying to destroy evidence by deleting emails, but of course, that never happens does it?


sucker punch
1.a sudden surprise punch, esp from behind
2.a sudden unexpected defeat or setback

definition from