Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Is “voir dire” becoming “voir Google?” It should come as no surprise that trial lawyers use social network sites to learn more about potential jurors. Yet, court usually place restrictions on what questions a lawyer can ask of a potential juror. An important consideration is protecting the juror’s privacy. But a lawyer or jury consultant can tap into the vast information base provided by the internet. Does trolling the internet open a permissible way to circumvent restrictions imposed by the court?
In most jurisdictions, the court rules are murky or nonexistent, reports the New York Times. My guess is that once the internet opens the door to further inquiries, the door cannot realistically be closed. Here are links to coverage in the New York Times (article from Reuters Legal) and the ABA Journal online.