The saturation of social media in modern society has been aided in part by the instantaneous gratification received via smartphone technology. People everywhere connect globally to automatically share anything from deep philosophical musings to the most mundane details of everyday life. It should come as little surprise then that it’s an issue that has come up in civil courtrooms across the country. Specifically: How do we keep jurors from publicly engaging about the cases they are charged with deciding, particularly while the proceedings are ongoing?
Part of the role of a Fort Myers personal injury lawyer is to carefully vet jurors who might oversee a case that goes to trial. We also have to occasionally monitor social media accounts to determine not just whether a juror may have engaged in misconduct by posting details or opinions about the case, but whether these actions may have prejudiced the plaintiff in a way that could warrant a mistrial or a new trial. We must be vigilant in protecting our clients’ rights.
In the recent case of Murphy v. Roth, before Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal, a plaintiff in an automobile accident lawsuit sought a new trial after it was revealed a juror in the case had been engaged on social media about his jury duty as well as his thoughts about the perceived greed of “everyone” trying “anything” to get money. Continue reading →