Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Twitter continues to expand its "sphere of influence" even into the Judicial Realm

The micro-blogging service Twitter is continuing to pick up steam and go main stream. There are now Twittering celebrities, politicians, and sports figures. Although the initial reaction to the idea of 140 character updates was muted, the last 3-4 months have really seen it pick up interest in the mainstream media.

Today I found a story about a juror who tweeted during the trial he had been assigned to. It seems that the defendant (that was found guilty) appealed the decision based on the fact that Twittering may have showed legal prejudice. It pretty amazing how a year ago Twitter was an interesting oddity and now it is impacting the legal system. The story from the AP is below:

JON GAMBRELL
AP News

Apr 03, 2009 16:39 EST

An Arkansas judge has decided that a juror's postings to Twitter.com during a civil trial won't affect a $12.6 million judgment in the case.

Lawyers say Washington County Circuit Judge Mark Lindsay on Friday dismissed an attempt to overturn a judgment against Russell Wright and Stoam Holdings, a building materials company. While Lindsay said the posts by juror Johnathan Powell were in bad taste, the messages didn't amount to improper conduct.

During his jury service in February, Powell sent eight messages — or "tweets" — to the Web site, using his cell phone. One warned: "oh and nobody buy Stoam. Its bad mojo and they'll probably cease to Exist, now that their wallet is 12m lighter."

Source: AP News

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