Formal Opinion 466 issued by American Bar Association Standing Committee on Ethics and Professional Responsibility also states: “in the course of reviewing a jurors or potential jurors internet presence if a lawyer discovers evidence of juror or potential juror misconduct that is criminal or fraudulent, the lawyer must take reasonable remedial measures including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal.
There is a strong public interest in identifying jurors who might be tainted by improper bias or prejudice. Furthermore, there is an equally strong public policy in preventing jurors from being approached ex-parte by the parties to the case or their attorneys and agents. This line becomes increasingly blurred given the saturation of Society’s Internet. This formal opinion encourages judges and lawyers to discuss the Court’s expectations regarding lawyers reviewing jurors’ presence on social websites.
As a potential juror you should be well aware that your background will be of interest to the parties and their lawyers when investigating your backgrounds and other websites you may be connected to. Typical examples of Internet based social media include Facebook, Myspace, LinkedIn, and Twitter. If you are involved in the jury selection process, be prepared to have your electronic social media scrutinized through the jury selection process as lawyers will be looking to determine your background and underlying bias.
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