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  • Without a net: Judges tell jurors with smart phones, "No surfing allowed"

Comments Mar 19, 2009 9:17 am

Part of the problem stems from what you expressed in your last paragraph, featuring the words "what they know".

As I understand it, the rules of (jury trial) law want all jurors to have _the same_ information,as presented by the opposing sides and the presiding judge. When one or more jurors gets information from elsewhere, that assumption is defeated.

That's one issue. Another harks back to the concept that "a fool is his own lawyer" -- the inferences including the idea that one is likely to have blind spots about what's in his/her own best interest and even matters of 'truth', and that being 'self taught' on the legal points of even one specific case is a (little knowledge being a) dangerous thing.

But the long-term prospects, or relatively short-term ones, anyway, of 'solving' this 'surfing while jurying' issue are not promising.

Books, as I said 20 years ago about on-line affairs, will be written.

Reply to at 9:17 am Mar 19, 2009 12:36 pm

In one sense, I agree. In another I don't. Most of us, when we're ill, we go see a doctor, a specialist in diagnosing illness. We might do our own research, but still we rely on the doctor for an informed opinion on what we've found. However, if we reject the doctor's advice, we affect only ourselves. Even so, we cannot legally self-medicate, at least with prescription drugs. Not even well-informed doctors are supposed to self-medicate. However, in the case of a courtroom, our rejection (or non-notifying) of informed law specialists leaves us without an expert-informed opinion on our research and it affects others besides ourselves.

Reply to at 12:36 pm