WHEN YOUR SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS UNDERMINE YOUR OWN CASE (AND IT HAPPENED TO SOLICITORS…)
Legal Futures yesterday carried a report of the case of Scott -v- Fisher Jones Greenwood LLP. A case in which the respondent failed to file a response in time and an application for an extension of time was refused. Here I want to concentrate on the one issue of social media and how respondent’s own web broadcast undermined its own case.
The applicant was as conveyancer formerly employed by the defendant firm of solicitors. Whilst being furloughed she was dismissed. She brought proceedings in the Employment Tribunal. The respondent was late in filing its response to those proceedings and required (but was refused) an extension of time to defend. The tribunal looked at the merits of the case as a whole as it was incumbent upon the defendant to show it had a meritorious defence.
WORK AVAILABLE FOR CONVEYANCING SOLICITORS
The judge considered a video podcast on the first respondent’s website before the dismissal that demonstrated that there was an increase in conveyancing work.
“She was given 4 weeks’ notice expiring 31 July 2020 (so given at the end of June 2020) but a video podcast/vlog on the 1st Respondent’s website on 21 May 2020, presented by the 4th Respondent himself, was all about what he described as the “big and unexpected bang” of the stamp duty land tax holiday. There was not a reduction in residential conveyancing, but a boom in it at the time of the notice of redundancy and dismissal. Judicial knowledge could be taken of this fact, and there was in the bundle press coverage of it at the relevant
The judge dismissed the respondent’s application. The weblog clearly played a part in this decision.