Ephemeral messaging apps allow users to send and receive text messages that disappear after being read. How might such technology impact the practice of law, especially as it concerns discovery? This Article defines ephemeral messaging apps, reviews recent discovery litigation in North Carolina for possible points of application with ephemeral messaging apps, and analyzes the North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure and the North Carolina Rules of Professional Conduct in light of ephemeral messaging apps. This Article also examines how other, out-of-state courts have dealt with ephemeral messaging apps in the context of discovery and makes some practical suggestions on what North Carolina courts might or should do when faced with ephemeral messaging apps and their use by attorneys or litigants in North Carolina.
Joshua Walthall, It Was Here a Second Ago: North Carolina Discovery andEphemeral Messaging Apps, 43 Campbell L. Rev. 477 (2021).