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Only a few short years ago, social media investigations on jurors and witnesses was virtually unheard of. Today, if a legal team in not undertaking such inquiry, it’s a detriment to the case. We perform such investigations on all of our case, and we have been able to find, on average, social media records for more than 80% of potential jurors and witnesses.
The information we find, while not always comprehensive, is frequently revealing in very actionable ways. By analyzing even just a few social media posts, photographs, and comments, we can begin building a rough sketch of a potential juror. Through the lawyer’s targeted jury selection questioning, we can get a sense if a juror is being honest with his or her answers. We’ll know if a juror’s presentation in court fits with what we know of them online.
Moreover, we can identify potential jurors who may relate positively to the themes in your case. Lawyers can use this information to frame questions to specific jurors -- questions that lead to reasonably predictable answers that naturally set the stage for conversation between members of the panel about the critical themes in a case.
Having social media information for potential jurors allows lawyers to make decisions during jury selection with more confidence. As a result, including social media investigations in your jury selection process often has the following results:
In high-profile cases, social media investigations are absolutely critical for intercepting stealth jurors. The concept of stealth jurors is now an anomaly that all trial counsel must consider. While it is to be expected in high profile case, a stealth juror may infect any jury panel. A hidden agenda may exist within any potential juror, whether it is pro-state, or pro-corporation, pro-injured party or pro-insurance company. Hints of these biases are often identified through such investigations.
Once a jury is impaneled, the research on each juror may prove valuable to counsel when crafting opening and closing arguments, and it may inform the strategy during the questioning of witnesses.
The ideal social media investigation team includes a jury consultant, one or two social media specialists, and a private investigator. The social media specialists can work off-site from the courthouse, and they work quickly to identify potential social media accounts as names of individuals on the panel are identified. For individuals who are difficult to locate, the private investigator can provide additional information that can help pinpoint a person online -- often through relatives. The jury consultant, working in the courtroom, manages the entire team, compiles the information, supplements the data, identifies actionable information, and presents it to the defense team when it is needed.
Jury selection is a dynamic process that moves quickly, and social media investigation is labor intensive. To be effective, communication within the team must be efficient, the workflow must be managed with precision, and there must be someone who can distill the massive amounts of information into actionable intelligence the lawyer can use.
This is the service we provide: a turn-key solution to social media investigations for jury selections that allows attorneys to select a jury with more confidence.
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