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Social Media and the Courts
 

Social Media and the Courts

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Presentation at Law Tech Camp on June 18, 2011

Presentation at Law Tech Camp on June 18, 2011

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    Social Media and the Courts Social Media and the Courts Presentation Transcript

    • Omar Ha-Redeye Law Tech Camp June 18, 2011
    • Overview
    • Social Media in the Courts
      • How much social media should be going on inside courtroom proceedings?
      • What is the appropriate balance between competing interests?
    •  
    • Granger, J. on Computers in Court
      • When I was appointed to the bench in 1988, there were very few judges in Ontario using computers. For many years thereafter many judges in Ontario appeared to look on computers with disdain, clinging to ancient courtroom traditions ...
      • Today most judges in Ontario recognize the benefits that digital technology can bring to the judicial system but are, as a result of their inability to touch type, reluctant to encourage counsel to use computers in the courtroom to display documents.
      Justice B. T. Granger . . Using Litigation Support Software in the Courtroom - Better Lawyer, Better Judge, Better Justice - The Need For Judicial Leadership. National Center for State Courts, Ninth National Court Technology Conference, September 13-15, 2005, Seattle, Washington.
    • Recording Court Proceedings
      • S. 136 Courts of Justice Act
      • Prohibition against photography, etc., at court hearing
      • no person shall:
      • take or attempt to photograph, motion picture, audio record or other record capable of producing visual or aural representations by electronic means or otherwise
      • publish, broadcast, reproduce or otherwise disseminate a photograph, motion picture, audio recording or record
    • Exceptions
      • All are subject to judicial discretion
      • unobtrusively handwritten notes or sketches
      • lawyer, a party, journalist making audio recording for purpose of supplementing or replacing handwritten notes
      • making of a record
      • investitive, naturalization, ceremonial or other similar proceeding
      • on consent of parties and witnesses
      • for such educational or instructional purposes
    • Offence
      • fine of not more than $25,000 or to imprisonment for a term of not more than six months, or to both.
    • Public Access
      • S. 135 Courts of Justice Act
      • ...all court hearings shall be open to the public.
      • Exception
      • The court may order the public to be excluded from a hearing where the possibility of serious harm or injustice to any person justifies a departure from the general principle that court hearings should be open to the public.
      • Disclosure of information
      • (3) Where a proceeding is heard in the absence of the public, disclosure of information relating to the proceeding is not contempt of court unless the court expressly prohibited the disclosure of the information.
    •  
    •  
    • Rules of Professional Conduct
      • Rule 1.03 Standards of the Legal Profession
        • “ a lawyer has a duty to uphold the standards and reputation of the legal profession and to assist in the advancement of its goals, organizations, and institutions”
      • Rule 4.06 Encouraging Respect for the Administration of Justice
        • “ A lawyer shall encourage public respect for and try to improve the administration of justice.”
        • Commentary:
          • “ A lawyer's responsibilities are greater than those of a private citizen. A lawyer should take care not to weaken or destroy public confidence in legal institutions or authorities by irresponsible allegations.”
    •  
    • Is Live-Tweeting Broadcasting?
      • UNITED STATES OF AMERICA vs. JOHN MARK SHELNUTT , (2009) U.S. DISTRICT COURT, MIDDLE DISTRICT OF GEORGIA, COLUMBUS DIVISION, CASE NO. 4:09-CR-14 (CDL)
    • Social Media Out of the Courtroom
      • How is social media use outside of the courtroom treated in legal proceedings?
    • Juries
      • Judge Wilkins:
        • “ certain things will occur that will, in fact, taint a jury pool and interfere with the administration of justice and will, in reality, prevent the accused from getting a fair trial.”
    •  
    •  
    • Social Media as Evidence
      • How much weight should be afforded to information and photos online?
      • Should the context of social media be considered?
    • Facebook in Litigation Source: Ronald Podolny. When “Friends” Become Adversaries: Litigation in the Age of Facebook. (2009) 33 Manitoba Law Journal . http://robsonhall.ca/mlj/images/Articles/33v2/podolny.pdf
      • Sparks v. Dubé, 2011 NBQB 040
      •   Leduc v. Roman, [2009] O.J. No 681 (O.S.C.J.))
    •  
    • Use of Social Media Experts?
      • R. v. Sather, 2008 ONCJ 98
      • expert evidence of Jesse Hirch called to explain how people use Facebook
        • people who profile themselves embellish their character
        • they deliberately say provocative things to elicit a response from their Facebook “friends”. 
        • They construct an alternate persona.
    • Resources
      • NEW MEDIA AND THE COURTS (September 2010)
        • THE CURRENT STATUS AND A LOOK AT THE FUTURE
        • A REPORT OF THE NEW MEDIA COMMITTEE OF THE CONFERENCE OF COURT PUBLIC INFORMATION OFFICERS
    • Contact
      • http://omarha-redeye.com
      • [email_address]
      • @OmarHaRedeye
      • http://ca.linkedin.com/in/torontolawyer
      • http://www.facebook.com/TO.Lawyer