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The United States District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan Adopts New Local Rules Addressing Jury Use of Social Media

Twitter and facebook It is good to see that our local Federal Michigan Judiciary is trying to keep up with technology.  Please see new local rules 47.1 and 72.2.  Note, see new local rule 47.1 which precludes jurors from using cell phones, email, text messages, chat, blogs or social networking websites during the course of the trial, during the time they are in the courtroom:


LR 47.1 Juror Communication

(a) During the course of a trial, parties and attorneys must refrain from having contact with jurors before a verdict is returned.
(b) Once summoned to a courtroom for selection and until discharged, jurors must refrain from any outside contact or communication that relates to the case, which includes the use of cell phones, BlackBerries, iPhones, and other smartphone devices, the Internet, e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, chat rooms, blogs, or the use of social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter.
(c) Parties, attorneys, and jurors learning of a violation of this rule must immediately notify the judicial officer presiding over the trial.
(d) Any person wilfully violating this rule is subject to sanctions.


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