online-research-keyboardLast year, I wrote a few posts on the NY Injury Law Blog about the risks of social media/networking for personal injury plaintiffs. In my posts “Experienced Attorney Warns: Protect Your Personal Injury Case by Being Smart About Social Media” and “Don’t Let Facebook Torpedo Your Client’s Case!” I warned readers about making missteps on social networking sites and undermining their personal injury cases. Insurance company attorneys deliberately pose as “friends” to infiltrate your social media. They can look for photos, messages, or other information that gives them ammunition to shoot down your case.

But I may have been guilty of some “glass half empty” thinking when it comes to social media such as Facebook, MySpace and Twitter, I’ve recently realized.

What to remember: Your posts on Facebook are not always private. Your tweets on Twitter will reach more readers than you may realize. When you file a personal injury lawsuit, the opposing side’s attorneys are going to find a way to tap and use all the information they can to undermine  the case against them – YOUR CASE.

But, and this is a big BUT, you CAN put social media to work for you – to find the best personal injury attorney. Because of the very wealth of details social media can offer on any given person, I’ve warned you to protect your privacy online. At the same time, don’t be shy about using it to YOUR ADVANTAGE.

I use social media to market my practice and the Ziff Law Firm. I encourage people to become a fan of the Ziff Law Firm on Facebook, and to follow me on Twitter – JimReedNYLawyer.

I write on the NY Injury Law Blog to share information about safety and legal issues in New York and Pennsylvania – for readers it’s also a good spot to get a feel for where I stand on some issues, and the standards I set for myself.

I track other attorneys’ blogs to keep up with new developments myself – an inspiration for this post was “Use Social Networking Tools to Find Out About the ‘Players’ in Your Trial” from by Jackson and Wilson, Inc.

Here’s a great quote from the post: “What you need to understand is that the amount of information that can be found about someone using social networking searches is almost unlimited.”

Jackson and Wilson were writing from a “lawyer to lawyer” point of view, letting fellow attorneys know of the options for researching opposing counsel, jury members and court officials through social media online. I think Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, MySpace, Orkut, etc., are a great resource for legal clients as well. The last word: When it comes to social media, use it to post carefully and research thoroughly.

Thanks for reading,


James B. Reed, Esq.
Personal Injury & Malpractice Attorney
Ziff Law Firm, LLP
303 William St., Elmira, NY 14902
Tel. (607) 733-8866 Fax. (607) 732-6062
Toll Free 1-800-943-3529
E-mail me at for two free books:
NY Car Accidents and NY Car Insurance Secrets YOU Need to Know.