by Mike Masnick
Tue, Apr 7th 2009 2:50pm
The legal world is catching on to social media in a pretty big way. Status updates and other messages are commonly cited as evidence, while there's growing concern over jurors' use of Twitter and other services on their mobile phones during trials. In one case, lawyers in Arkansas argued that a juror's tweets showed he was predisposed against their client, and wanted a verdict that would "impress his audience." They appealed the decision against their client based on the juror's 140-character missives, and a judge has now rejected the appeal and let the judgment stand. He said the juror's tweets were in bad taste, but didn't constitute improper conduct. While it doesn't seem like the messages in question reflected any predisposition on the part of the juror, this is likely just the tip of the iceberg of these types of cases, particularly with the definitively unanswered question of whether posting messages to social-networking sites during deliberations breaks jury rules regarding non-disclosure.
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