Given the growing importance of social media to lawyers, bar association ethics committees have sought to provide guidance in this emerging area. These committees have recognized that there are unanswered questions regarding the application of rules of professional responsibility to a variety of practice scenarios where lawyers and social media intersect. In New York, San Diego and Philadelphia, bar association ethics committees have issued opinions addressing lawyers’ social media communications with jurors, as well as parties represented by counsel.
As demonstrated in several recent cases, social media has emerged as a dangerous temptation to juror misconduct. Social media can also be a tool for misconduct in the hands of lawyers improperly interacting with jurors. Two New York bar associations have weighed in on jury research and social media.