In December 2009, the Committee on Court Administration and Case Management of the Judicial Conference of the United States endorsed a set of suggested instructions on juror use of electronic communication technologies. In May 2010, Ohio jumped on board with a jury admonition:
The new instruction admonishes jurors not to obtain any information from outside sources including the Internet, reference books, newspapers, magazines, television, radio, a computer, a Blackberry, iPhone, smart phone, and any other electronic device, and further admonishes jurors not to send or receive e-mails, use Twitter, text messages or similar updates, blogs and chat rooms, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and other social media sites of any kind to obtain information regarding the trial. (Excerpted from OSBA Jury Instruction Tackles Social Media, Electronics in the Courtroom.)
Could Oregon be next? Looks like it. The Chair of the 2010 Oregon Civil Jury Instruction Committee has confirmed that members are currently working on an amendment to Precautionary Instruction 5.01.
Oregon Uniform Civil Jury Instructions (OCJI) are updated annually. Based on prior publication cycles, practitioners should expect revised Precautionary Instruction 5.01 to be available in November 2010.
Copyright 2010 Beverly Michaelis