January 16, 2022

Survey Finds Most Federal Judges Warn Jurors About Social Media

From USCourts.gov:

Most federal judges have taken steps to ensure that jurors do not use social media to discuss the trial in which they are involved, a recently published survey indicates.

The Federal Judicial Center was asked by a committee of the policy-making Judicial Conference of the United States to survey federal judges on the issue. Its report says that 94 percent of the 508 judges who responded said they have specifically barred jurors from any case-connected use of social media.

“The most common strategy is incorporating social media use into jury instructions – either the model jury instruction provided by (the Conference’s Committee on Court Administration and Case Management) or judges’ own personal jury instructions,” the report said.

“Also common are the practice of reminding jurors on a regular basis not to use social media to communicate during trial or deliberations, explaining the reasons behind the ban on social media, and confiscating electronic devices in the courtroom,” the report added.

Only 30 of the 508 judges reported instances of detected social media use by jurors during trials or deliberations.

Read the Complete Report, Jurors’ Use of Social Media During Trials and Deliberations (41 pages; PDF)

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.