Litigation » Lawyers May Investigate Jurors Online, But Not Communicate, Says ABA

Lawyers May Investigate Jurors Online, But Not Communicate, Says ABA

April 25, 2014

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Lawyers may investigate potential jurors on the Internet, but may not engage them directly – by, for example, asking to friend them on Facebook – according to an ethics opinion issued this week by the ABA Standing Committee on Ethics and Professionalism. The opinion, which is meant as guidance and is not legally binding, says that simply observing information a juror or potential juror has posted publicly online is not improper. If the site as part of its protocol informs the juror who has been looking at his or her information, that is not considered direct communication. However, asking for further access via social media is an invasion of privacy. The opinion hedged on whether or not lawyers who discover possible misconduct by a juror are obligated to notify the court.

 

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