Social Media Admissions in Insurance Litigation: Investigative Strategies, Spoliation Warnings, Use of Subpoenas to Obtain Evidence

Finding and Obtaining Evidence Adverse to Opponents From Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube and Other Sites

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

Conducted on Wednesday, June 7, 2017
Recorded event now available

This CLE webinar will provide guidance to insurance litigators for mitigating the risks that social media posts frequently pose for plaintiff/policyholders as well as tips for insurers to track down admissions on social media sites. The panel will discuss best practices for advising plaintiff/policyholders regarding their online posts and complying with the evidentiary duty to preserve social media postings. The panel will also outline strategies for drafting discovery requests by insurers relating to social media accounts, sending spoliation warning letters for social media posts, and crafting subpoenas to obtain social media evidence in a format that will be admissible at trial.


As of 2016, 78% of Americans had a social network profile on at least one of the many social media websites. Saavy litigators know that admissions by party opponents can often be found on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, YouTube and other social media sites. Knowing how to locate and retrieve this evidence in a format that can be used at trial is essential to attacking the opponent’s case.

Due to the ever-changing landscape of social media outlets and the various privacy settings available to social media users, locating and preserving these admissions is daunting. Litigators must know the steps to take early on in litigation to find and prevent spoliation of this critical evidence. With the evolving case law on electronically stored data, counsel must be well-versed in methods to obtain these admissions in a format that will be deemed admissible as evidence at trial.

Listen as our authoritative panel of insurance litigators analyzes the best practices for locating social media posts by opposing parties as well as third parties, discovery requests that will uncover hidden social media accounts, warnings against spoliation of this crucial evidence, and strategies for obtaining social media posts from providers for use at trial.


  1. Locating social media posts by opposing parties and third parties
  2. Discovery requests regarding social media accounts
  3. Spoliation warning letters
  4. Subpoenas to social media sites for evidence to be used at trial
  5. Admissibility of social media posts at trial
  6. Recent case law regarding spoliation of social media evidence


The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • How can counsel locate social media accounts of opposing parties and related third parties?
  • When and to whom should spoliation warning letters be sent?
  • What discovery can be used to uncover hidden social media accounts?
  • How can counsel obtain social media posts from third-party providers?
  • What is required for the admission of social media posts at trial?


Donald Patrick Eckler, Partner
Pretzel & Stouffer, Chicago

Mr. Eckler handles a wide variety of civil disputes in state and federal courts across Illinois and Indiana. His practice has evolved from primarily representing insurers in coverage disputes to managing complex litigation in which he represents a wide range of professionals, businesses and tort defendants. His coverage practice for insurers and the insured involves commercial general liability and personal lines policies, issues involving the duties to defend and indemnify, bad faith and the application of exclusions. His tort defense work involves representing nursing homes and long-term-care facilities, product manufacturers and distributors, trucking concerns and premises owners.

D. Carolina Lopez
Vocke Law Group, Chicago

Ms. Lopez concentrates her litigation practice on representing insurance companies in first and third party actions, focusing on coverage, property, and liability disputes. Her experience includes handling complex claims and regulatory investigations, bad faith claims, complex coverage matters, and varying types of insurance disputes from catastrophic property losses to construction defects and professional liability. She previously was a member of AIG’s New York based excess casualty legal group, which involved providing underwriters with legal assistance in terms of policy and manuscript drafting, contract review, and regulatory and statutory compliance.


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Insurance Law Advisory Board

John Broghammer


Greve Clifford Wengel & Paras

Tred Eyerly


Damon Key Leong Kupchak Hastert

John D. Green


Farella Braun + Martel

Alan P. Jacobus

Lafayette & Kumagai

William E. Kelley, Jr.


Drewry Simmons Vornehm

William O. Krekstein


Timoney Knox

Jay M. Levin

Principal and Chair of the Insurance Recovery Practice

Offit Kurman

Peter J. Mintzer


Selman Breitman

Barry S. Neuman


Whiteford Taylor Preston

Andrew G. Wanger


Clyde & Co.

Britton D. Weimer


Weimer & Weeding

Sandra I. Weishart


Hinshaw & Culbertson

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