Thursday, March 3, 2016

Google and Oracle Ordered to Show Cause Why Google User Data and Social Media Should Not be Used to Research Jury

The court ordered the parties to show cause why it should not ban them from accessing user accounts or conducting Internet searches of potential or actual jurors prior to a verdict. "[I]t appears to the Court that both sides intend to email or text the names and places of residences of venire members as soon as they are called forward to waiting squads of Internet investigators, who will feed results to counsel table via reverse text or email. . . . [T]he Court is considering imposing on both sides a ban on any and all Internet research on the jury prior to verdict. . . . [P]lease show cause why such a ban should not or may not be imposed. . . . [B]oth sides shall state the detailed specifics of how far the parties and/or law firms and/or their investigators may go under the law and/or the rules of professional conduct in accessing Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, and other social media accounts — as well as Google accounts — to gather information on prospective or actual jurors, including (without limitation) the full extent to which they may use investigators/lawyers with more detailed levels of privacy access than the general public. This should include as well analysis of the extent to which ether side is allowed to review Google, Yahoo!, and/or other Internet searches conducted by prospective or actual jury members in order, for example, to analyze their politics, job searches, shopping habits, evening life, and/or personal interests."

Oracle America, Inc. v. Google Inc., 3-10-cv-03561 (CAND March 1, 2016, Order) (Alsup, J.)

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