O’Neill Interviewed Regarding Social Media Governance in the Court Room

Professor Kevin O'Neill

Professor Kevin O’Neill was recently interviewed for Judicial System v. Social Media – Lawyers, courts argue pros and cons of online communication’s pervasive, yet useful nature, by Kathy Ames Carr, in Crain’s Cleveland Business, October 3-9, 2011.  The article addressed issues concerning the role of social media in the court room.  With access to and use of smart phones constantly increasing, jurors and others involved in trials have easy access to the internet.  This means they can check their email, send and receive tweets and text messages, and browse websites.  This easy, constant, and almost universal access presents challenges to the integrity of trials.  Judges are now wrestling with the problem of managing electronic access to the outside world as cases are carefully presented within the walls of their courtrooms.  According to O’Neill, there are presently no cases addressing the governance of social media the courtroom, and he doesn’t expect to see any cases soon.  Instead, he suggests that judges need to be clear with juries, in their jury instructions, regarding court room expectations with respect to social media and electronic access.  Judges have broad discretion to instruct juries, and O’Neill believes this is an area ripe for their control.

To read this full story, see: https://www.law.csuohio.edu/sites/default/files/newsevents/crainsjvsm.pdf

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