Fun Friday: Social Media for Jurors, Threatening Tweets & Sloths

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November 12, 2010 – It’s another wonderful November Friday and that means it’s time for a Fun Friday blog!

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Adorable mammals, lessons to learn on threatening tweets, and communications in the courtroom.

Crazy Courtroom Stories – Florida’s New Jury Instructions

We Do Web Content’s home state has released new guidelines for jurors on both civil and criminal cases regarding their use to technology in the courtroom. The Florida Supreme Court approved amendments to the standard jury instructions to include proper conduct regarding use of electronic research and communication media.

The new rules restrict use of cell phones, computers and other communication devices during their presence in the courthouse. When a juror is assigned to jury duty they enter a period of confidentiality about the case. They are cautioned that even electronic posts regarding the case such as Facebook status updates, tweets, and blog posts can be considered communication that is banned.

The ban on all communication about the case – in-person or electronic – lasts until the judge instructs the jurors that they are released from the restrictions. While it may seem like common sense that you’re not supposed to discuss the case anywhere, with social media being a popular outlet to express our opinions, it’s no wonder many jurors may have found themselves dismissed due to a wrongful tweet.

Wacky Law – Judge Feels the Need for Restraining Order after Tweet

Coming from Arizona is Judge Ward Connerly who recently applied, and was approved for, a restraining order against an Arizona State University student. What caused this judge to feel threatened by the student? A tweet stating that if the student ever saw Judge Connerly he would “not hesitate to punch” him.

Apparently Judge Connerly felt threatened enough by the statement that he filed for a restraining order, keeping the student 100 feet away and prohibiting any methods of contact. So what angered the student so much to tweet a threat of violence against the judge? Apparently he didn’t like the judge’s support for Proposition 107 which proposed the end of state-funded affirmative action.

This is just another example of how social media is infiltrating the legal world.
 While divorce lawyers have made it a standard in discovery to check social media profiles, and many employee termination cases have revolved around ill-conceived Facebook posts and e-mails, now we’re seeing the media become a breeding ground for potential threats.

Pro tip:
 Be careful what you tweet!

Cute! – Smiley Sloths!

Blogged straight from one of our Content Managers, Allison, comes a good dose of cute to get you through your Friday. Enough with weird legal news, just look at some cute sloth babies!

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Ever notice how sloths are always smiling?

There’s no real news story here, it’s just a nice break of cute to end the week!

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