Media Law Prof Blog

Editor: Christine A. Corcos
Louisiana State Univ.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Twitter in the Courtroom

Mark L. Tamburri, Thomas M. Pohl, and M. Patrick Yingling, Moi University School of Law, have published A Little Bird Told Me About the Trial: Revising Court Rules to Allow Reporting from the Courtroom Via Twitter in volume 15 of the BNA Electronic Commerce & Law Report (September 15, 2010). Here is the abstract.

Over the past year, a handful of courts around the country have confronted the novel issue of whether to allow reporting of criminal trials from inside the courtroom via Twitter, the micro-blogging and social networking service. While courtroom "tweeting" provides the public with innovative and current access to trial information, certain rules banning or otherwise restricting cameras in the courtroom can also be read to prohibit tweeting from the courtroom. These rules, however, were never drafted with Twitter in mind. Given the increasing use of Twitter and related technologies by mainstream news media, it is likely that state rules committees will soon be seeking to revise the language of certain rules. This article provides a brief overview of the media's increasing use of Twitter to report on trials from within courtrooms. The balance of the article details considerations - both legal and practical - that rules committees will necessarily have to weigh to address this emerging trend.

Download the article from SSRN at the link.

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