“Rockin’ Robin, Tweet, Tweet, Tweet” were some of the great lyrics from early Rock & Roll. Bobby Day brought this song to # 2 on the Billboard Top 100 in 1958. Although Bobby Day was a one-hit wonder, his “Rockin’ Robin, Tweet Tweet Tweet” lives on even today on You Tube ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ocT1wFcYspE ).
Bobby Day could never have foreseen that “Tweet Tweet Tweet” would become the sounds of the times today, as everyone either tweets or knows someone who tweets, and as everyone either is on Facebook or knows someone on Facebook – - so much so that the tweets or other social media communications may be caught in the netting of the legal system. Just ask Jacob Jock who spent three days in the slammer because, while sitting on a jury, “friended” the defendant in the case.
There are other illustrations of jurors tweeting during the trial about their thoughts on the evidence, or posting their thoughts on Facebook. In fact, the corruption trial of Baltimore Mayor Sheila Dixon became known as the “Facebook Five” case because five jurors had “friended” each other during the trial. These practices have put at risk a number of cases on appeal.
It is clear that we must do something to keep these Rockin’ Robins and chatty jurors from “hoppin’ and a-boppin’ and singing [to] all the little birdies on Jaybird Street.” Think about the lyrics from that song and the potential for juror social media misconduct and then give me a response to these questions:
What should lawyers do to safeguard their client from social media misconduct?
What should judges do to safeguard their proceedings from social media misconduct?