Tag Archives: Facebook

Facebook as Medium for Serving Divorce Papers

Social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter have made the change from being time wasting distractions influential media in recent years. fb-logo But social media has not been considered in the past as a means of serving divorce papers – until now. The comments of a judge in a case in New York has raised the possibility of “divorce by Facebook,” CNN reports.

Ellanora Arthur Baidoo from Brooklyn has been trying to divorce her husband for several years, according to her attorney. However, lawyers were unsuccessful in tracking down Victor Sena Blood-Dzraku to serve him the papers. Baidoo was able to reach her husband by phone but he informed her he has no fixed address and no place of work, court documents stated. “He has also refused to make himself available to be served,” the document said.

The report said Baidoo had exhausted other ways of serving the papers on her husband so she filed an application asking for “service by alternate means,” in this case, via social media. Comments made by Justice Matthew Cooper in this case suggest social media may become an acceptable way of serving divorce papers in the future. The judge said the “advent and ascendency of social media,” means sites like Facebook and Twitter are the “next frontier” as “forums through which a summons can be delivered.”

There are still a number of potential issues before Facebook becomes an established part of the divorce process. Before Cooper agreed to the use of Facebook, Baidoo had to prove the Facebook account she intended to use belonged to her husband, and that he consistently logged on to the account and would see the summons. The CNN report said Baidoo’s marriage to Blood-Dzraku started to fail shortly after they were married in 2009 because her husband refused to participate in a Ghanaian wedding ceremony that would include both their families. The couple never lived together.

Lawyers acting for Baidoo have contacted Blood-Dzraku twice on Facebook, according to reports, but he has not responded. Social media has transformed the way we live our lives and interact with each other so it’s natural that it may end up playing a greater part in a wide range of legal proceedings at some point in the future. There are many obstacles and difficulties that are experienced in break-ups and divorces which is why it’s still important to hire an experienced divorce lawyer.


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Filed under Family law

How the Google algorithm change “Penguin” could affect your law firm

By David Macaulay


It’s affectionately known as “Penguin” but Google’s new algorithm change has left some businesses wondering if they are going to be left in unfamiliar waters.

As a legal writer, blogger and marketer, the recent tweak has led me to ask some fundamental questions about whether the SEO techniques I have picked up over 18 intensive months no longer hold good or at least need to be amended.

There are no easy answers from the outset. Google doesn’t provide a list of do and don’ts but there are some pointers about how we should adapt our writing techniques to ensure we remain ahead of the curve.

Google’s tweak has had a dramatic effect on some businesses in a short period of time. The Wall Street Journal carried a recent article about the San Francisco-based company Oh My Dog Supplies, LLC.

Co-owner Andrew Strauss said more than two thirds of customers found his business on Google searches in the past. No longer.

Google’s algorithm change at the end of April 2012, led his Google traffic to plunge by 96 percent, according to the Wall Street Journal.

That’s a dramatic and atypical kind of change. Strauss said he believed his site’s rankings fell because he paid for hundreds of inbound links in the past in response to a 2011 algorithm change that also affected his business, according to the Wall Street Journal.

“Google declines to divulge specifics of its search-ranking algorithm, but it discourages paid links and low-quality website links,” the Wall Street Journal article states.

The lack of specifics is problematic but Google has revealed guidelines. Penguin is intended to discourage sites that aim to get a higher ranking than they deserve by manipulating search engines.

Google dislikes the idea of “key word stuffing,” in which large numbers of key words are put in articles with an eye to fooling search engines.

Although it will take weeks to work out what works the best in terms of SEO, the latest change may well mean a movement away from blogs and articles that overload a lot of linked terms such as “New York family law attorney.”

Penguin is just the latest of changes that Google has brought in to its algorithm. And with more than 60 percent of searches going through Google they are not tweaks we can afford to ignore.

 In 2011 Google brought in a change that would allow the latest news to float to the top of searches.  This was significant for law firms because it made regular and topical blog postings more important, giving firms with regularly updated sites an edge over those with static websites.

There appears to be little in the new change that will fundamentally change the accepted wisdom of legal marketing. But the tweaks are likely to reward original and interesting writing even more than previously at the expense of unnecessary repetition for the sake of SEO.

The need for law firms to continue to develop multiple websites still holds good. While the main website may rank high on Google for some of the important search phrases, there always are gaps that specialist sites can exploit be they linked to a geographical area or a specific area of practice. 

A multifaceted website strategy that concentrates on keyword-rich domains to fill those gaps is still likely to prove effective.

And businesses should look at wider strategies to stay ranked.


  • Work on local directory listings: Listings with sites such as Google Places, Yelp, Insider Pages, City Search and the Better Business Bureau will show you are a reputable firm as well as allow clients to post reviews.



  • Work on content: Make sure content is interesting, topical and relevant to the wider community. Don’t pack your blog with insider material that will only be of interest to other attorneys.


  • Use Social Media : Links to Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook will build following. And consider other up and coming sites, in particular Google+



  • Consider more press releases. News releases on a topical issue are effective tools in promoting what is new in your business. Sites such as PRWeb can provide rapid distribution.


  • Work on links to credible sites : Aim to work with charitable organizations and get links back to your business. Charitable organizations that use .org domains are good links as are educational sites (with .edu domains).


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Filed under Internet law

Facebook is Cited as a Factor in a Third of Divorces, says Report

Veritas Legal Media – 757-582-1836 – veritaslegalmedia@hotmail.com

Social media may allow us to track down old friends again. But it has also become an increasingly significant factor in divorces.

This may not come as news to many divorce attorneys. Every year more of them are using information from sites such as Facebook in divorce proceedings. 

A recent study from the United Kingdom website Divorce-Online found Facebook to be a driving force behind about a third of divorces in which unreasonable behavior was a factor.

Facebook typically is causing relationship problems where a spouse finds flirty messages, photos of their partner at a party they did not know about or with someone they should not have been with. This suggests Facebook may be playing a part in exposing behavior that would not otherwise have been known about, but there’s also evidence the site is fostering illicit connections.

Family lawyers have been seeing the nefarious influence of social networking sites on relationships for some time. Emma Patel, the head of family law at Hart Scales & Hodges Solicitors, in the United Kingdom told the Daily Telegraph, Facebook acted like a “virtual third party” in splits.

“Facebook is being blamed for an increasing number of marital breakdowns, and it is quite remarkable that all the petitions that I have seen here since May have cited Facebook one way or another,” Patel said in a Jan, 2011 article.

The extent to which some spouses will use Facebook to cheat was highlighted in an article in on Missouri’s ky3.com site.

Dana Williams of Springfield, MO believed she had a good marriage. 

“She and her husband had been together for eight years when she was faced with a gut-wrenching reality online.  She said her friend showed her pictures of her husband with another woman on Facebook.com,” the channel reported.

“And it was him saying he was so happy.  He had his three month anniversary with this girl,” said Williams.

Williams said her husband even set up a secret Facebook account with a profile picture that showed him with another woman.

“People need to be careful what they write on their walls, as the courts are seeing these posts being used in financial disputes and children cases as evidence,” Mark Keenan, a spokesman for Divorce-Online, said.

Users of social networks often make the mistake of assuming the information they put on those sites is private. In fact, information posted on Facebook, Google+, Twitter or any other network can be used in divorce proceedings.

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Filed under Divorce, Family law