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.
St. Mary's University School of Law
Luke A. Harle,
A Status Update for Texas Voir Dire: Advocating for Pre-Trial Internet Investigation of Prospective Jurors,
St. Mary's L.J.
Available at: https://commons.stmarytx.edu/thestmaryslawjournal/vol49/iss3/4
Civil Procedure Commons, Courts Commons, Criminal Procedure Commons, Judges Commons, Law and Society Commons, Legal Ethics and Professional Responsibility Commons, Legal Profession Commons, Legal Remedies Commons, Privacy Law Commons, State and Local Government Law Commons