In the day and age of social media, there are a lot of keyboard lawyers out there who think they are knowledgeable in the law, when they’re really not.
Looking at the comments on Facebook and other social media platforms really makes me cringe. What’s worse is people actually rely on these posts to make decisions on legal issues without consulting an actual legal professional.
For example, a member of a community Facebook group I am a member of was complaining about their neighbour over a minor dispute. Someone suggested suing in Small Claims Court in the comments. Someone then posted that there was a minimum amount you had to sue. I made the comment that there was no minimum, and that poster challenged me. Even after letting them know I am a paralegal specializing in Small Claims Court litigation, I was still challenged by someone who thought they were right. They were wrong.
I also had a call with someone who said they wanted to sue someone for money they were owed. They claimed they had knowledge of the law because they got information on Facebook. After they ranted for over two minutes about what they thought they knew, I had let them know that everything they said was wrong, and if they proceeded based upon what they believed to be correct, they would be very disappointed in the result.
There are so many that can go wrong with taking the advice of a keyboard lawyer. Some of those problems are (but not limited to) paying costs, delays in your matter or it being dismissed and at the end of it, you having to hire a lawyer or paralegal to clean up your mistakes simply because you wanted to take advice from someone on Facebook, rather than hiring the appropriate person for the job.
If you need legal advice, call a lawyer or a paralegal. Please do not rely upon social media to get your legal advice. It can cause you time and money if you do.
Murray Brown, Licensed Paralegal