Preventing Social Media in the Courtroom: Can It Be Done


Social media continues to wreak havoc in courtrooms across the country. Despite repeated warning from judges, jurors are continuing to comment on cases via social media, “friend” parties to the lawsuits, and conduct their own Internet research outside of the courtroom.

All of these activities are strictly prohibited and threaten the validity of any resulting decision issued by the jury. However, lawyers and judges can’t seem to figure out how to stop the behavior.

In 2012, the federal courts implemented new jury instructions that directly address the use of Twitter, Facebook, and other similar services. Below is a portion of the revised instructions to jurors:

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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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