LR 47.1: Juror Communication

(a) During the course of a trial, parties and attorneys must refrain from having contact with jurors before a verdict is returned.

(b) Once summoned to a courtroom for selection and until discharged, jurors must refrain from any outside contact or communication that relates to the case, which includes the use of cell phones, BlackBerries, iPhones, and other smartphone devices, the Internet, e-mail, text messaging, instant messaging, chat rooms, blogs, or the use of social networking websites such as Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, YouTube, or Twitter.

(c) Parties, attorneys, and jurors learning of a violation of this rule must immediately notify the judicial officer presiding over the trial.

(d) Any person wilfully violating this rule is subject to sanctions.

COMMENT: The court is encouraged to instruct the jury at the beginning of trial and before deliberations about these restrictions. See, for example, the suggested jury instruction prepared by the Judicial Conference Committee on Court Administration and Case Management, December 2009.

February 1, 2011