Social Media is Free Game During Jury Selection

You may be surprised at who is scouring your Facebook page. It is not always your friends and followers. The American Bar Association has recently issued an opinion that it is ethical for lawyers to review the publicly posted information of individuals called for jury service. This green light for lawyers to peruse social media also includes jurors actually serving on a case.

The logic behind the ABA’s ruling is that this information is like any other publicly available data. The largest nationwide lawyer group warned lawyers against befriending jurors as well as invading their private internet areas. Lawyers should also refrain from actively following juror’s social media sites.

This decision will open the doors for lawyers, investigators and jury consultants to seek information that might signal leanings of potential jurors. It will also allow for a closer eye on juror misconduct during trials.

Citizens should be aware that their facebook posts, twitter tweets and other information on social media will be carefully reviewed by lawyers looking for any edge during a trial.

If called for jury duty, individuals should be aware that their social media musings will be closely analyzed.

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