Jury Trials In The Age Of Facebook

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Having represented defendants accused of committing crime for almost 19 years, I have been in well over 60 jury trials.  In that time, I have been on the front-lines of what works with juries and what does not.  From time to time, I re-examine the way a case is presented.  Juries have changed and my presentations have had to change with them.  Facebook has created a number of challenges for a host of different reasons.  Basically, you get 23 minutes in opening argument.  However, the one thing it has done is encourage people to make up their own minds about controversial issues.  Instead of telling a jury what the conclusion is and explaining why that conclusion (not guilty) is the only answer, people now want a straight up presentation of the facts, without too much emotion and without an ultimate conclusion.  The up-side is that jurors who reach the right conclusions on their own will fight hard for their position.  The lawyer’s art is how to go just far enough to get them there.

Disclaimer: This is not legal advice.

By: Jim Bannister

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