Nathan M. Crystal, Using Social Media to Investigate Juror

South Carolina Lawyer 10 (Jul. 2014)

Author discusses the basic principles that govern lawyers’ conduct while using social media sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, to obtain information in litigation about parties, witnesses, and jurors.

From the article:

“Several basic principles govern lawyers’ conduct. In dealing with other participants in a proceeding, lawyers must not engage in misrepresentation. SCRPC 4.1(a). The rules prohibit lawyers from communication with a person represented by counsel in the matter without the consent of that counsel. SCRPC 4.2. With regard to judges and jurors, lawyers may not communicate ex parte with such people during the pendency of a proceeding unless authorized by law or court order. SCRPC 3.5(b). Lawyers cannot do indirectly through the acts of another, such as an investigator, what they cannot do directly. SCPC 8.4(a). In representing clients lawyers have a duty of competency. SCRPC 1.1. The duty of competency, according to recent revisions to the ABA Model Rules, requires lawyers to keep up to date regarding technology”.

Furthermore, the author discusses the content of ABA Formal Opinion 466, which deals with the access to jurors’ electronic social media (ESM).

Relevant Law: SCRP 4.1(a), 4.2, 3.5(b), 8.4(a), 1.1, 3.3(b)

Mentioned Ethics Opinion:

The full text is available at: http://www.nathancrystal…

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