Lawyers given OK to review jurors’ social media sites: ABA

Sending “friend” requests, “following” or other such access requests are considered an ethics violation

The American Bar Association (ABA) has ruled that lawyers are allowed to search a juror’s or potential juror’s public Internet presence, which can include postings by the juror in advance of and during a trial. However, sending “friend” requests, “following” or other such access requests are considered an ethics violation, the ABA said.

“In the world outside of the Internet, a lawyer or another, acting on the lawyer’s behalf, would not be engaging in an improper ex parte contact with a prospective juror by driving down the street where the prospective juror lives to observe the environs in order to glean publicly available information that could inform the lawyer’s jury selection decisions,” the ABA’s formal opinion stated. 

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Erin E. Harrison

Erin E. Harrison is the Editor in Chief of InsideCounsel magazine. Harrison’s professional background includes extensive expertise in both print and online media, highlighted by...

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