Lawyers are free to mine the social-media accounts of jurors, but they may not request access to an account that’s hidden behind a privacy wall, according to an ethics opinion issued Thursday by the American Bar Association.
In sum, the rules give lawyers a green light to scour a juror’s Twitter feed, Facebook account or any other site where they posted comments, photos or videos about themselves for anyone to see. Everything that’s public online is fair game. And the same goes for potential jurors during jury selection.
Yes, I know that as an attorney I should not encourage people to duck jury service, blah blah blah, but it does seem that a few strategically timed and worded tweets could get you out of jury service. Undergoing voir dire in a criminal case? Tweet that "Anybody who gets charged must be guilty or why else would they have been arrested?" Undergoing voir dire in a slip and fall case? Tweet "Trial lawyers are the scum of the earth" and "Slip and fall cases are all bogus." Done well and you might just get tossed on a preemptory challenge.