Don’t Post Information About Legal Problems on Public Websites

I frequently get comments from people looking for help with a legal problem. Inevitably, these comments contain information about the facts of the case from the commenter’s point of view. Usually the commenter admits owing the debt in passing (such comments are usually about debt), but explains a theory of why there he or she ought to win, anyway.

This is a BAD IDEA.

Debt collectors read this website. Lawyers for debt collectors read this website. This website has been cited in at least one Fair Debt Collection Practices Act lawsuit (by the debt collector). Debt collectors use Facebook and other social media to find out about you. If you post information about your legal problems on this website—or any public website—chances are good that the other side will learn about it. That’s why I generally delete any comments that contain information about legal problems.

One of the reasons you should talk to a lawyer about your legal problems (instead of posting about them on a public website) is that, with a lawyer, your comments are protected by the attorney-client privilege. That means you can get advice without worrying that the things you say will come back to haunt you.

Another reason is that you can get advice from a competent person on your particular legal problem. You won’t get that on a public website. Lawyers understand why this is a bad idea, and so the only advice most lawyers will give is “go talk to a lawyer.” That leaves non-lawyers who don’t know any better, and their advice usually isn’t worth getting.

So do yourself a favor, and call a lawyer for advice. Don’t look for legal advice on a public website where revealing information about your legal problems will probably do more harm than good.

(photo: http://www.flickr.com/photos/donsolo/3122701176/)