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Online Juror Vetting: Muddy Waters for Courts

PRIVACY LAW

February 25, 2011

Law firms are increasingly using social networks and online searches to build extensive juror profiles, causing regulatory and privacy concerns. Reuters reports that lawyers are hesitant to discuss Internet vetting, partly because they aren't sure of the rules surrounding the practice; "It's like the Wild West," said a U.S. attorney. A May 2009 U.S. court case shows a judge barring a lawyer from Googling prospective jurors in the courtroom because the other lawyers had not brought laptops, but the decision was overturned by an appellate court, stating, "Internet access was open to both counsel--even if only one of them chose to utilize it."
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