Juror Faces Jail Time for "Friending" Defendant on Facebook

    February 23, 2012

    A Sarasota man who allegedly “friended” the defendant in a case while serving on a jury could face jail time next week if found guilty of disregarding a judge’s orders, according to WTSP.com.

    Jacob Jock was selected to be part of a jury for a car accident case back in December. Jock was dismissed from the jury after it was discovered that he friended the defendant in the case. Prudently, the defendant refused to accept Jock’s friend request and instead alerted her attorney. Following his dismissal, court officials became aware of more Facebook posts, including a wall post detailing his excitement for being kicked off the jury. These posts prompted the judge to find him in contempt of court. If found guilty following a hearing, he could face a fine or even jail time.

    This is another critical example of how social media is affecting the legal system.  More than ever, attorneys need to monitor social media use of their clients, opposing parties, witnesses, and juries.  Attorneys can take prevention measures by requesting a jury instruction warning juror’s of the implications and consequences of using social media during trial.  Thanks to Michael Napoleone for the link!

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