Tuesday, March 1, 2011

"Voir Google"?

Interesting article gives specific examples of attorneys weighing jurors based on online activity -- as well as judges' reactions to the practice. Internet v. Courts: Googling for the perfect juror, Reuters Legal, Feb. 17, 2011.

One 24-year-old was excluded from a jury because of "antibusiness sentiments" in blog posts.

[The excluded juror], for his part, said in an interview that while he understands why ConAgra's lawyers viewed his online activities as evidence of bias, he doesn't believe they should have been taken so seriously. "This is the Internet," he said. "It's a different realm. It's like a playground."
Thanks: Mike Meredith.


Aaron McElhose said...

This is pretty interesting, and similar to another article posted around the same time regarding the use of Facebook in jury selection. That article can be found here: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703561604576150841297191886.html?mod=WSJ_hps_editorsPicks_3

It seems like anyone who is tabbed for jury duty will likely be subjected to at least a google and facebook search. If those people don't want something out in public, they should probably take steps to protect their identity, or not post at all, I suppose.

Danny Stallings said...

I agree, that is really interesting. And yeah my feeling is that things out there in the public realm are fair game. I don't see how outside research by lawyers would prejudice the administration of justice.

Gareth wrote an article about this from the other side of the question: whether jurors should be allowed to use the internet, or whether we can prevent jurors from using the internet. It's pretty interesting: http://www.natlawreview.com/article/should-jurors-use-internet