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Facebook Often Plays a Factor in Jury Screening

You’ve heard of employers and online daters seeking out Facebook profiles to get a little more information on someone’s character. Now, even the court system has vicariously become involved in the Facebook universe.

PC Magazine recently talked to juror consultants, who are private companies often employed help  defense attorneys determine which jurors may be the most advantageous to keep around. These consultants said that, in addition to Googling, they also check Facebook to get a better feel for a person’s character.

One consultant noted that they try to weed out “leaders” or “highly opinionated” people because they can be instrumental in taking a stand against defendants. She said they also review wall posts and comments when possible to determine whether specific topics or industries insight a strong reaction.

The magazine noted, for example, that if an insurance company was being sued then a consultant would want to check jurors’ profiles for any disparaging comments or inferences about insurance agents, rates or laws.

Who will be the next group to size up the competition via Facebook?

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