October 4, 2015

American Bar Association Ethics Committee Says Attorneys Can Review Social Media of Jurors

From the Associated Press:

The American Bar Association says it’s ethical for lawyers to scour online for publicly available musings of citizens called for jury service – and even jurors in deliberations.

But the ABA does warn lawyers against actively “following” or “friending” jurors or otherwise invading their private Internet areas.


The ABA’s ethics committee began reviewing the issue about two years ago and concluded in April that looking at Facebook posts, Twitter tweets and other information gathered passively is ethical research.

“It’s like any other publicly available information,” said Donald Lundberg, an Indianapolis, Indiana, attorney who helped draft the ABA’s opinion as an ethics committee member.

Note: The full text of the formal opinion researched and written by the American Bar Association Standing Committee On Ethics And Professional Responsibility and discussed in the article is available online (9 pages; PDF).

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Gary Price About Gary Price

Gary Price (gprice@mediasourceinc.com) is a librarian, writer, consultant, and frequent conference speaker based in the Washington D.C. metro area. Before launching INFOdocket, Price and Shirl Kennedy were the founders and senior editors at ResourceShelf and DocuTicker for 10 years. From 2006-2009 he was Director of Online Information Services at Ask.com, and is currently a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.

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