Saturday, March 5, 2011

SUBTLE SAVVY: Local lawyer uses social media to screen jurors

COLUMBIA, 3/5/11  (Beat Byte) -- Torts, property law, legislation, precedent, procedures, contracts, defense, prosecution...Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr? 
As local criminal defense attorney Jennifer Bukowsky has recently demonstrated, attorneys looking to put their best case forward often look to social media sites for the winning edge. 
With information from search engines, social media, databases,, and other online resources,  
Bukowsky builds Excel spreadsheets that can help during voir dire -- the process of screening prospective jurors.  

The information might scream "bad juror." 

Or it might be more subtle.   In a recent Boone County case, Bukowsky worked to keep a white female on a jury after seeing evidence of a bi-racial friendship -- several Facebook pictures of the woman with a black friend.  
Bukowsky's client -- charged with sexual assault -- was also black.  She took the Facebook pictures as evidence the potential juror wasn't racist, a key consideration in jury selection.

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