The time spent waiting for a jury to render a verdict is, perhaps, the most excruciating time for any trial lawyer. There is doubt. There is second-guessing. There is a wish that the team could put in some extra effort to affect the outcome. A witness that could have been called; a question asked better; an exhibit used differently; an argument made more convincingly.
One time to put in that “extra effort” is during jury selection — by conducting social media jury investigations.
In April, the American Bar Association issued Formal Opinion 466 in which they found that investigating potential jurors via social media is ethical, provided lawyers and their teams do not connect with potential jurors in the process.
We think social media jury investigations — when performed properly — are not just ethical, they a critical part of a trial lawyer’s responsibility as a zealous advocate.