Jury duty may seem like an inconvenience, but it is an important civic duty. One vital component of jury duty is the obligation to keep information about the case confidential. As a practical matter, this means not discussing, emailing, texting, blogging, tweeting, or otherwise posting on social media about the case.
Florida’s Fourth District Court of Appeal recently dealt with a case in which jurors were explicitly told not to communicate with anyone about the case (including via social media), but one juror posted a number of tweets on Twitter during the days of jury selection and trial. While the juror did not name the case or give specific details, he did mention his discontent with being selected for jury duty and his general dismay at being at the courthouse all day. The juror also implied that he may have given partial or careless answers to some questions. He also expressed his thoughts about the perceived greed of “everyone” trying “anything” for money.
The case is Murphy v. Roth, and it began when the plaintiff sued the defendant for injuries sustained in an automobile accident. The plaintiff alleged that she was rear-ended by a ‘phantom vehicle’ that was never found, and she then began to turn and was hit by the defendant.