Juries and Facebook
Jury selection is a vital part of trial. At Bache & Lynch, we will ask the appropriate questions of potential jurors to try to avoid mishaps, like this one in Florida. A juror in a Florida trial posted a comment on Facebook stating “Tomorrow we gotta make a decision who has the greater weight of proof between the plaintiff and defense, and I know my answer.” Jurors receive strict instructions not to discuss a trial outside the courtroom or to make any decisions before receiving instructions from a judge. In the end, the judge granted the Defense’s motion for a mistrial. The parties ended up settling out of court.
There are many factors that contribute to what verdict a juror might cast during deliberation. Social networking sites and their impact on juries are just one of the many new challenges that face courtrooms today.
Some more thoughts on juries: Recent studies have demonstrated that there are a few critical issues that need to be reviewed with potential jurors. Asking questions about the effects that the recession has had on them and their overall view about the economy is essential to a client’s case. Plaintiffs want jurors who have not been terribly impacted by the economic downturn and who have a positive outlook on their own financial futures. Study after study has shown that jurors with an optimistic perspective are more likely to award greater damages.
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