Small Survey Shows Juror Misconduct Online May Be a Big Problem

Oct 24, 2014
In previous posts, I have been skeptical of surveys of judges that have revealed low levels of internet and social media use by jurors. Now a small survey of New Hampshire state judges indicates that it such juror misconduct may be more common.

New Poster Gets Specific On Juror Research, Social Media Use

Oct 6, 2014
The National Center for State Courts has released a new poster, "Juror Responsibilities Regarding the Internet and Social Media," that is intended for jury rooms to remind jurors that they should not from research or use social media to discuss cases. But the poster's limited explanation of the reasons behind the restrictions is problematic.

Social Service: New York Court Allows Legal Notice Via Facebook

Sep 23, 2014
A  man may serve legal notice on his ex-wife in a child support case via Facebook because other methods have proved fruitless, a New York family court judge has ruled. Noel B. v. Anna Maria A., Docket No. F-00787-13/14B (N.Y. Fam. Ct. Sept. 12, 2014).

While this is not the first time that a court has allowed service of legal notice via Facebook, it differs from other cases in that in this case the court approved the Facebook notice as the primary means of service, rather than a secondary method as in other cases.

Juror's Online Research Leads to Murder Reversal

Sep 19, 2014
Research by a juror in a Pennsylvania trial which uncovered the defendant's prior involvement with the law has led a judge to order a new trial in a murder case in which the defendant has been on death row since 2007.

This marks the second known time that a murder conviction has been overturned because of a juror's online research, although in that case the reversal was also based on a juror who fell asleep during the trial. See Erickson Dimas-Martinez v. State, 2011 Ark. 515, 385 S.W.3d 238 (2011).

Prosecutor's Exclusive Access to Courtroom Cameras a Problem

Aug 27, 2014
Criminal defense attorneys in Warren County, Ohio are objecting to a closed-circuit video and audio system that allowed Prosecuting Attorney David Fornshell to observe trials from three courtrooms at his desk, the ABA Journal reports, citing articles from the Cincinnati Inquirer and the Dayton Daily News.

Jury's Still Out on Juror Internet Use

Aug 4, 2014
A recently-released report from the Federal Judicial Center says that in a survey of 494 federal trial judges (48 percent of all 1,021 sitting federal trial judges), only 33 of the judge (seven percent of respondents) reported that they were aware of instances of juror use of social media to communicate during trials or deliberations in their courts

Should a Judge Blog? And Tell the Supreme Court to Shut the F--- Up?

Jul 8, 2014
U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Kopf -- who I mentioned in my previous post on the availability of federal courts' audio recordings of their proceedings -- has gotten into a bit of hot water for a post on his personal blog criticizing the U.S. Supreme Court's recent decision in Burwell v. Hobby Lobby Stores, Inc.

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