Survey: More Than One-Third of Canadian Lawyers Report Rise in Litigation Related to Social Media and Mobile Devices

While social media sites and mobile devices offer expanded communication and flexible work options, they are also causing a spike in litigation. 

Toronto, ON (June 1, 2017) -- While social media sites and mobile devices offer expanded communication and flexible work options, they are also causing a spike in litigation. More than one-third (37 per cent) of Canadian lawyers recently interviewed by Robert Half Legal said they’ve seen an increase in lawsuits linked to images or information found on social media and mobile devices. And nearly one-quarter (23 per cent) of respondents reported a rise in cases related to data on personal mobile devices that employees used for work purposes.

The survey was developed by Robert Half Legal, a legal staffing and consulting solutions firm specializing in lawyers, law clerks and other highly skilled legal professionals. It was conducted by an independent research firm and is based on 150 telephone interviews with lawyers among the largest law firms and companies in Canada.

Lawyers were asked, In the last two years, have you seen an increase or decrease in litigation or eDiscovery matters that are related to images or information that appeared in social media and mobile devices?” Their responses:*                   

Significant increase

 11%

Slight increase

 26%

Neither an increase nor a decrease

 56%

Slight decrease

   1%

Significant decrease

   0%

Don’t know

   7%

 

 101%

* Responses do not total 100 per cent due to rounding.

 

Lawyers were also asked, In the last two years, have you seen an increase or decrease in litigation or eDiscovery matters that are related to images or information contained on personal mobile devices that your employees use for work purposes?” Their responses:

Significant increase

   9%

Slight increase

 14%

Neither an increase nor a decrease

 68%

Slight decrease

   0%

Significant decrease

   0%

Don’t know/no answer

   9%

 

100%

“With millions of people sharing details about their personal lives and professional activities online, data stored on social media networks and mobile devices are increasingly relevant to litigation,” said Charles Volkert, senior district president of Robert Half Legal. “Electronic evidence retrieved during discovery, including emails, tweets, text messages and photos, as well as GPS and web browsing history, is often enough to make or break a case.”

Volkert added that as employees increasingly use personal laptops, smartphones and tablets for work-related matters, there are inherent risks to the organization. “Policies regulating the use of mobile devices and social media are an essential component of a corporate security and reputation management program. Guidelines should be regularly reviewed and communicated to employees to protect confidential information and guard against data leaks and cyber threats,” he said.

About Robert Half Legal

Robert Half Legal is the premier provider of legal staffing and consulting solutions for law firms and corporate legal departments. With North American and global locations, Robert Half Legal provides a customized approach, including managed review, legal project management and eDiscovery services, to help organizations handle constantly changing workloads. The company offers in-demand expertise across practice areas as well as highly skilled legal professionals on a temporary, project and full-time basis. More information about our full suite of legal staffing and consulting solutions can be found roberthalf.ca/legal, and for career and management advice, follow our Legal Blog at blog.roberthalflegal.com. Follow @RobertHalf_CAN and visit blog.roberthalf.ca for workplace news, trends and advice.

For further information contact: Naz Araghian, (416) 865-2140, [email protected]  

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