Social media research of potential and empaneled jurors is an area of the law that is constantly evolving. A succession of ethical opinions and trial court decisions have answered some questions and raised new ones.
To be sure, researching the publically available social media profiles of potential jurors during voir dire is now, with certain caveats, no longer controversial. Multiple bar associations have concluded that this conduct is ethically sound, provided that neither lawyers nor agents of lawyers contact or communicate with potential jurors. Many commentators have even suggested that pretrial Internet research is good practice. So now that the debate as to whether lawyers can research the social media profiles of jurors during voir dire has been settled, we address two corollary issues: (1) the extent to which attorneys can research jurors on semi-private social media sites like LinkedIn; and (2) the extent to which lawyers can monitor jurors after a trial begins.
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