SOCIAL MEDIA JUROR INQUIRIES
(a) Attorneys may use websites available to the public, including social media websites, for juror or prospective juror research, so long as:
(1) The website or information is available and accessible to the public;
(2) The attorney does not send an access request to a juror’s electronic social media;
(3) No direct communication or contact occurs between the attorney and a juror or prospective juror as a result of the research, including, but not limited to Facebook “friend” requests, Twitter or Instagram “follow” requests, LinkedIn “connection” requests, or other forms of internet and social media contact;
(4) Social media research is done anonymously. For example, a search on a social media site must not disclose to the juror who is making the inquiry, and it must only seek information available and accessible to the public and not the result of an attorney’s account on said social media site; and
(5) Deception is not used to gain access to any website or to obtain any information.
(b) Third parties working for the benefit of or on behalf of any attorney must comply with all the same restrictions as set forth above for attorneys.
(c) If an attorney becomes aware of a juror’s or prospective juror’s conduct that is criminal or fraudulent, IRPC 3.3(b) requires the attorney to take remedial measures including, if necessary, reporting the matter to the Court.
(d) If an attorney becomes aware of a juror’s posting on the internet about the case in which she or he is serving, the attorney shall report the posting to the Court.
Advisory Committee Notes
Jurors will be advised during the orientation process that their backgrounds will be of interest to the litigants and that the attorneys in the case may investigate their backgrounds, including a review of internet websites and social media.
If there is not a method of conducting the internet research in a manner which prevents the juror or prospective juror from discovering who is doing the research, the research shall not be done because it would constitute an inappropriate communication. Attorneys must be familiar with the technology and internet tools they use to be able to do searches, including automatic, subscriber-notification features so as to maintain anonymity in any search.