Trial lawyers looking for a sympathetic courtroom audience have opened up another front in jury screening: the Facebook pages of potential jurors. The Wall Street Journal reports
that litigators increasingly check out would-be panelists‘ social network postings in deciding whether to accept or exclude them as jurors.
Scouring Facebook or other sites is hardly a replacement for voir dire, in which lawyers question jury candidates in front of a judge. But courtroom practitioners say it can help them detect juror bias — opinions and personality traits that might affect a case at trial.
“These days, it’s the place where people voice their opinions,” said jury consultant Art Patterson.
Prosecutors in Cameron County, Texas bring iPads to jury selection in order to scan the pool for potentially revealing details such as hobbies, religious affiliation, and favorite TV shows.
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