Published on:

Is that Lawyer Googling Juror Names During Voir Dire?


If you were a lawyer selecting a juror wouldn’t you want to have a look at jurors’ Social Network (web 2.0) sites, such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, etc.?

See David’s Blog post from 8/19/08, In trial and on the net, how lawyers use the web

The post talks about the press of time during voir dire, but I’ve been a potential juror many (many! – can’t they have a random AND a non-repetitive selection process?) times and on very few of those occasions did the judge insist the lawyers move it along. I can remember a couple of occasions where opposing counsel could have Googled the jurors names AND blogged about the trial (and written home about how the day was going), with time to spare. (Always, always, always carry lots of reading material when on jury duty. I love jury duty, but Move It Along, counsel. A bored juror, while not worse than an angry one, is not a good juror.)

Excerpt from David’s blog post:

Good article here on a growing practice. Trial lawyers use the internet to find out background on potential witnesses, potential parties, and even potential jurors. This includes social networking sites to find out what the real story is on someone involved in a case. The article raises questions about whether it’s ethical to dig into potential jurors’ internet postings. Assuming there’s no hacking involved, I don’t see any problem finding out as much as I can about a potential witness or juror.
I can learn a lot more about a person from reading her MySpace page than I can from the stifling and artificial question and answer session of jury selection that goes on in the courtroom….”
(Full post)

(By the way, here’s an easy-to-click-on list of Oregon law/lawyer blogs. You can see these at this blog’s sidebar too.)

Contact Information