The Use of Social Media in Selecting and Monitoring a Jury

This article discusses a cutting edge topic in trial advocacy: the use of social media in selecting and monitoring a jury. With use of social networking platforms becoming ubiquitous in our digital society, trial lawyers cannot afford to ignore the valuable insights to be gained by “Facebooking the jury pool.” This article (and presentation) will examine cases from around the country discussing this practice, including caselaw that poses the question of whether performing online research into prospective jurors should be not just a best practice for litigators but in fact a professional duty. In addition, this article and presentation will analyze the ethical concerns presented by this practice and by monitoring jurors. In light of the prevalence of online misconduct by jurors resulting in mistrials and overturned verdicts, as well as new ABA ethical rules regarding the risks and benefits of using technology, this article questions whether “Facebooking the jury” should become not merely a valuable weapon in a trial lawyer’s arsenal but a matter of professional competence.

Page last updated: Mon, 11/19/2012 - 09:27