SOCIAL MEDIA AND COURTROOMS
Some interesting news in the Winter issue of Litigation, the quarterly publication from the American Bar Association Section of Litigation. Seems like social media has indeed entered the courtroom. According to research done by Reuters Legal, going back to 2008, at least 45 verdicts have been challenged due to jurors twittering, blogging or using the internet. Perhaps more staggering – in the latter part of 2010, Reuters monitored Twitter posts and determined that people identifying themselves as either prospective or sitting jurors were posting every three minutes!! And a significant number of the posts had commentary on the defendant’s guilt or innocence.
Reuters investigative efforts triggered a complaint against a Seattle woman who was actively blogging while a member of a jury pool during a criminal trial. She had named the prosecutor “Mr. Cheap Suit” and described him as “annoying”. The defense attorney however, fared much better. She noted that that he was “friendly” and “cute” and indicated a desire to have lunch with him. She later was removed from the jury pool.