Jury duty & social-network profiles

Trial consultants are getting a lot of help from social-networking profiles when they're picking jury members these days, the Los Angeles Times reports. They learn how prospective jurors vote, spend money, "if they've spoken out on controversial issues," and what skeletons might be in their closets, er, profiles. "Consultant Anne W. Reed of the Reinhart law firm in Milwaukee finds the Internet most helpful when vetting younger jurors," the Times adds. She "thinks online research can spare shy jurors the discomfort of answering probing questions in open court, but she said it had to be done discreetly to avoid any sense of invaded privacy." Hmm – what's asked in an open courtroom is more of a perceived invasion than what's dug for in blogs and social sites.

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