Social Networking and its Impact on Trials

Philip Brown, author of MS Litigation Review and Commentary, has an interesting post on the impact of social networking on the work of trial lawyers.

An excerpt:

 

I have talked with lawyers who are worried about a juror going home and researching parties on social network sites. What if a juror does that and discovers that the juror has a mutual friend with the party or belongs to the same club or religious group? Could that impact the juror’s decision in the case?

The same goes for lawyers researching potential jurors before a jury is put in the box. Social network sites can provide a wealth of information on how a person views life.

Within a couple of years I expect these issues to be so prevalent that social network sites are addressed by the Court and parties in voir dire. It would not surprise me if Courts instructed jurors to restrict their use of these sites during trial to make sure that the juror did not discover a personal connection to a party not known during voir dire.