October 28, 2010
Gone are the days when due diligence, or a litigation background check, amounted to reviewing a resume and examining public records — or even Googling!
Today, a witness, juror, expert or potential business partner is more likely to have a social networking site than a criminal conviction. Many painstaking attorneys would be sure to check for court records, but they might miss out on the additional benefits of this new information arena.
The Pew Internet & American Life Project reports that 66 percent of Internet users under the age of 30 have a social networking profile. CareerBuilder.com found that 37 percent of employees they surveyed did too. By contrast, only 9.5 percent of potential hires have criminal convictions.
Social networking activity can be quite revealing — a kind of informal resume and kitchen table chat, not tailored to a specific event or situation, and very likely full of unguarded admissions.
Even if preparation of an Internet profile isn’t your primary objective, regularly check these sites, particularly if you will be preparing a due diligence declaration. These days, judges know the value of a Google search and have begun to expect that as a standard practice in locating people.
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