In The News: Courts Grapple With Technology

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Dead Sea newspaper

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Three stories of internet technology making its way into the courts:

Round 1: Judge orders lawyer to stop Googling potential jurors during Voir Dire.

Round 2: Conviction overturned due to iPhone using juror.

Round 3: Facebook is now court evidence.

Go read! It’s good stuff.

If you want a heads up on stories at the intersection of social media and technology, don’t forget to follow Planet10tech on twitter.

Twitter In Court: Find Out Who Is Tweeting

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CC photo credit: moriza

Lawyers: are you asking jurors for their twitter handles during voir dire?

You should! Do you know if your client is on twitter? How about opposing counsel? Do you know what is being said. If you are not on twitter, and if you do not know where to look, you probably don’t.

Why is this important? Because Twitter is a HUGE back channel.

When you attend a meeting, people are tweeting. At every conference, there is a back channel about what’s good, what’s bad, and where to get a beer and steak afterward.┬áThe more people feel they are trapped somewhere they do not want to be: in line at the post office, stuck at the Social Security office, or in trial; the more likely they are to be tweeting about it to their friends. And their friends are tweeting back! There are entire conversations going on!

But, how can I listen in? Twitter is private, isn’t it?

NO! Unless a person specifically checks the “Protect my tweets” box, their tweets are publicly viewable. That is the whole point: you talk to the whole world, and interested┬ápeople can follow your tweets and join in the conversation.

Keep in mind this isn’t limited to just what a juror may be tweeting about. Some courts are letting reporters tweet from the courtroom. The opposing counsel may be tweeting. Your own client may be tweeting!

Watch this video covering how to get a Twitter account, how to find someone on Twitter, and how to create and save searches. It looks awesome in full screen!

Ok attorneys, SPEAK UP! Do you keep an eye on social media when you go to court? How do your judges view tweeting in the courtroom?