Monday, August 08, 2011

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The wild wild web and juror misconduct and conduct can come crashing down around litigants heads and hopes for a fair trial Whether or not Kentucky passes a law regulating internet research and communications by jurors is a MUST DO admonition in all jury trials in Kentucky. It is not. A juror can research the following: Lawyers and their firms and their blogs and their backgrounds and their verdicts and anything else they want to post, publish, or polemicize. Law - statutes, case law, ethics opinions, articles, and law firm commentary and blog posts. Social networking sites - all of them!!! News stories on the accident, the lawyers, or whatever the juror deems relevant. Tort reform, deform, verdicts. The list is endless from weather on the day of the accident to whether or not the lawyer has written anything, been arrested, been seen in the plush homes of Louisville or even society events. Campaign contributions and political affiliations. Everything but listen to the case and observe the instructions. And this is just from the juror's side of the house, and to think, some judges are bent out of shape on juror attire! For crying out loud, sweats and gym clothes are worn to church, to the opera, and to eating establishments. If trial participants are entitled to a cross-section of the community, then some will wear whatever they feel comfortable in. We don't pay them for their fashion sense but their common sense. Imagine the hue and cry should a juror be challenged or removed for the cut of their jib and swash of their buckle as opposed to their ability to be fair, impartial and follow the iaw. However, one cannot argue with the fact that unlimited internet access is a recipe for trouble. Of course, the assumption is that the juror will venture into the fast lane of the internet highway, but let us not forget that blogging and web...

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens - Kentucky Personal Injury and Trial Lawyer.

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