Jurors’ social media posts now subject to lawyers’ viewing

Photo Courtesy: MGNonline
Photo Courtesy: MGNonline

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP)– Your next jury duty summons may come with some more probing from the lawyers on the case.

The nationwide lawyers’ group, American Bar Association, is now saying it’s okay for attorneys to look at what jurors are doing on social media as research for their case.

In the past, when asked permission to use social media sites as research on the jurors, some judges had ruled it okay, but others called it an invasion of privacy.  Now, the ABA ethics committee is giving the practice the go ahead after a two year review of the issue.

Their decision is the first time the lawyers group has addressed how deeply attorneys and their consultants can probe for information about jurors and potential jurors.

In recent years, online postings by jurors have disrupted legal proceedings, causing mistrials and special hearings.  Judges generally advise jurors not to discuss the trial they are serving on social media until the case is over.

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