The Anatomy of a Trial With Social Media - The Jury

This article is the first in a series on how social media is being used in trials. Jury Selection When picking a jury, some cases have enough at stake that a client will pay for mock trials and jury consultants, who will recommend the ideal composition of a jury in that case. It is also the case that the ideal jury may not be reflected in the actual jury pool for that judicial district. Thus, the trial attorney must select from people who are not his ideal jurors. The trial attorney is left to rely on answers given during the voir dire process. Depending on the judge, the attorneys may be allowed to question the prospective jurors, or the judge may do all of the questioning with input from the attorneys.

Fortunately, attorneys now have another tool available to them in cases where the jurors are identified by their full name, and not just a juror number. The case law is not well developed in this area, but one state court has held that attorneys can research prospective jurors using social media in the courtroom during jury selection. Internet research and access to social media has the potential for opening up a whole new avenue to excuse a juror for cause. Social media activity may show that despite a juror's responses to questions, the juror is not being candid or truthful.

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