As social media continues to grow into mainstream communication, Samford University's Cumberland School of Law poses the question, how will this ever-developing issue affect the litigation process?

The Cumberland School of Law's "American Journal of Trial Advocacy" presents "The Use of Social Media in the 21st Century Litigation," Friday, Feb. 8 from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. in the John L. Carroll Moot Court Room on the Samford campus. The event is free and open to the public.

The symposium will offer two panel discussions and a keynote address by Paul W. Grimm, a U.S. District Court judge in Maryland. His speech will address "Admissibility and Authentication of Social Media Evidence."

Judge Grimm is considered an expert of e-discovery, which is the exchange of relevant information between parties through an electronic format.

"A judge's perspective is always interesting for attorneys because the judge makes the ultimate calls," said Kathleen Bowers, a third year Cumberland law student and the editor-in-chief of the "American Journal of Trial Advocacy."

Both panel discussions will consist of lawyers and judges from across the country.

The first panel, moderated by Judge John L Carroll, Cumberland dean and Ethel P. Malugen Professor of Law, will discuss pretrial and discovery.

The second panel will focus on the issues one might face during trial. The Honorable John E. Ott, the chief magistrate judge for the United States Northern District of Alabama, will moderate the discussion.

"My generation grew up with Facebook and Instagram and knows how it all works, but others didn't grow up in this day and age," Bowers said. "I hope everyone will be able to learn something new, to hear ideas they haven't thought of."

The presentations by the seven panel participants will be published in the 2013 issue of "The American Journal of Trial Advocacy."

Sarah Waller is a senior journalism and mass communication major and a news and feature writer in Samford's Office of Marketing and Communication.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.