Jury Trials in the Age of Social Media

Social Media like Facebook is everywhere and impacts everything we do--including the jury trial process. In California, new jury instructions and admonitions have been adopted to face this development head on. However, the warning to prospective and sitting jurors to ignore their social media and Facebook accounts is unrealistic. Moreover, posting "stuck on jury duty!" is likely to garner sympathetic messages and worse. One can only imagine that posters will relate their own experiences and bias for or against one side or the other. As trial lawyers in the the year 2012 and beyond, we must assume that everything we do and say is being "posted." For the benefit of our clients, we must adopt strategies that may embrace social media and, in turn, make us better lawyers.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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