In recent years, judges and commentators have sounded the alarm on litigators’ increasingly extensive research into jurors’ and venirepersons’ online presences. Despite critics’ ethical and practical concerns, the age of “voir google” continues to thrive and evolve. In this Note, I seek to contextualize the era of online investigations within the broader era of American jury selection. In Part I, I cover the essentials of online investigations into jurors and venirepersons. I outline the forms that these investigations take, review how lawyers use them in jury selection and at trial, consider objections to the practice, and assess the current landscape of court decisions and ethics codes regulating it. In Part II, I analyze how online investigations are not fundamentally different but are in line with existing practices on jury selection and trials. I detail how online investigations function as beneficial supplements to voir dire. Then, I assess how online investigations have non-digital analogs in the work done by lawyers conducting field investigations, pre-digital age, and in trial consultants assisting lawyers with their trial strategies. I propose that although online investigations into jurors and venirepersons may appear to be a newer practice, it is not a revolution but a natural evolution from existing litigation practices.
To read this Note, please click here: Googling, Profiling, and Drafting a “Fantasy Team” of Jurors: Contextualizing Online Investigations into Jurors and Venirepersons Within Centurues of Analog Litigation Practices.