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Should We Ask Jurors If They Blog?

Should We Ask Jurors If They Blog?

Well, that’s the gist of an article up over at, which discusses the ramifications of jurors blogging after a days events in court.  The article specifically mentions a case where a juror began blogging about his own opinions about an impending trial during and after jury selection; this led to the defendant’s attorney arguing that the blog betrayed opinions about the juror that was not readily apparent during trial selection.  The case was eventually upheld in the New Hampshire Supreme Court, but its led to a dialogue about blogging amongst jurors.

While it makes sense that jurors *not* blog about the details of a trial during the trial, Clay S. Conrad a partner at Conrad, Marteeny & Looney in Houston, and blogger at JuryGeeks, made an interesting point when interviewed:

“It raises an interesting question — the juror isn’t supposed to discuss the case with anyone else, but are they discussing the case if they are posting information about it but not hearing anything back? … The other thing that the blog could produce is evidence that the juror has prejudged the case. It could also provide evidence that in some cases perhaps the jurors lied or fudged the truth during voir dire. All of those could cause motions for new trial.”

Should we be asking Jurors if they blog, then?  Not being a lawyer, it’d be hard for me to comment on that.  But, I expect for the sake of explicitness, they might in the future.

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Bob Kelley, a plaintiffs attorney who is a partner in Fort Lauderdale, Fla.’s Kelley/Uustal and runs a blog on the state’s jury selection process, said lawyers should know by now to check whether potential jurors have blogs.

“Any lawyer who does not inquire during jury selection about a juror’s Internet presence — whether it be a Web site, a blog, an account on MySpace or an account on — hasn’t done their job,” said Kelley, who regularly asks potential jurors such questions.

View Comments (2)
  • Not being a lawyer, I find the juror at fault. They are instructed to not discuss (as in not tell anyone) anything about the trial you are going through. So in my opinion, that juror did exactly the same, regardless of whether there were comments made on the blog or not. Imagine a high profile blogger (ShoeMoney, Matt Cutts, etc) being sent into juror duty and pouring out the details in their blogs… that “innocent” blog post would be picked up by the media everywhere (and they would be a whole lot of trouble). So just because it’s a small and lightly read blog, doesn’t mean he can do what he did… at least that’s my opinion.

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