Social Media and Jury Duty

18 June 2013 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

For those of us who have ever served on a jury we know that our job is try to decide who is right and wrong, and assess damages or jail terms, but now Social Media has changed jury duty in many ways. Recently I had to fill out a jury questionnaire in Dallas and I was asked to reveal a great deal of personal information which lawyers can use to search Social Media before jury selection including:

  • home address and length of time in the county;
  • employer and length of time at that job;
  • marital status;
  • name of spouse, spouse’s employer and time at that job;
  • phone numbers: home, business and cell;
  • race;
  • religion;
  • birthplace; and
  • service on juries in the past, both civil and criminal.

No surprise that in the courtroom lawyers use Google and Social Media while interviewing the jury panel during the voir dire process, which of course helps the lawyers decide who should and should not serve on their jury.

But jurors use of Social Media during a trial may lead to disaster for the juror, parties, and/or the trial.

To learn more about Social Media and jury duty please read my June 2013 eCommerce Times column entitled “Jury Duty in the Social Media Era.”

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