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St. Mary's Law Journal

First Page

665

Date Created

6-2018

Publisher

St. Mary's University School of Law

Editor

Daniela Mondragón

Last Page

698

Abstract

The Internet provides trial attorneys an additional tool to investigate the backgrounds of prospective jurors during voir dire. Online searches of a person’s name and social media accounts can reveal information that could be used as grounds for a challenge for cause or to facilitate intelligent use of peremptory strikes. Texas lawmakers have not yet provided any official guidance as to whether attorneys can investigate prospective jurors online or how they might do so, should it be allowed. Texas’s current voir dire structure, judicial opinions, and ethics opinions, together, support the notion that Texas trial attorneys should be given opportunities to investigate prospective jurors’ Internet presence during voir dire, subject to reasonable restrictions to avoid ethical violations.

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