Joshua Lipton apparently doesn’t read this blog. He’s also seems to be an unrepentant, partying roadway menace. Young Mr. Lipton was involved in a drunk driving crash that seriously injured a woman. So, what was he doing two weeks later while she was recovering in a hospital? Leading a sober life of regret and contrition, right? Heck no! He was out whoopin’ it up at a Halloween party dressed in a black and white striped shirt and wearing an orange jumpsuit labeled “Jail Bird.” As we used to say when I was that age — “Smooth move, Ex-Lax!”
Naturally, the picture on the left ended up on Facebook. The articles I’ve read say that “someone” posted the pictures on Facebook so maybe Mr. Lipton didn’t post them himself, but it really doesn’t matter. The enterprising prosecutor in his case, Jay Sullivan, found the pictures online. (Kudos Mr. Sullivan!) He showed them to the judge at Mr. Lipton’s sentencing and used them to argue that Mr. Lipton was a remorseless partier. Wow! If you’re a prosecutor it just can’t get any better than that! Actual photographic evidence of a complete lack of remorse and repentance! It must have impressed the judge who pronounced the photographs “depraved” and sentenced Mr. Lipton to two years in jail. OUCH! Bet he’ll learn his lesson now.
Of course, Mr. Lipton isn’t alone. I’ve even detailed an example involving a client of mine where her MySpace page hurt her PI case. A USA Today article gives several examples of others who have been damaged by their MySpace pages and have in some cases garnered longer sentences, or jail time instead of probation.
My first suggestion is that if you’ve seriously injured another human being try some decency. Instead of making light of what you’ve done and the consequences, try a little contrition. Quit drinking and if you can’t, get help. If you can’t be a decent person then, as a lawyer, I recommend that you at least be a smart person. Don’t make light of the serious injuries you’ve caused to another and the possible consequences. Don’t let pictures be taken of you being a jerk or with any alcohol in your posession or around you. And for Heaven’s sake make sure no pictures are taken that can end up online!