The Bench Bar Media Committee of the New Jersey Supreme Court (“Committee”) has adopted, and forwarded to the Supreme Court, Guidelines for the Usage of Electronic Devices in New Jersey state courts. The proposed Guidelines comprehensively address the use of Electronic Devices in the courtroom, the common areas of a courthouse and the grounds of a courthouse. If adopted by the Supreme Court, the proposal will represent a major revision to the existing Guidelines.
Next time you consider posting something on the Internet, think again as your identity could be revealed! Under the presumed cloak of anonymity, individuals often throw caution to the wind and voice controversial and unfiltered views on the Internet. Based upon a recent ruling by an Indiana State Court in a defamation case, however, the rules of engagement on the Internet may have changed.
The Gibbons E-Discovery Task Force and the NJ Chapter of Women in E-Discovery present “The Internet and Social Media in the Courtroom”
Please join the Gibbons E-Discovery Task Force and the NJ Chapter of Women in E-Discovery in its presentation of “The Internet and Social Media in the Courtroom,” hosted at Gibbons on Tuesday, June 21, 2011, from 6:30 to 7:30 pm. CLE credit is available for NJ and NY, and pending for PA. Jennifer A. Hradil will moderate a panel featuring Mara E. Zazzali-Hogan, Jennifer Marino Thibodaux, and Suzanne Herrmann Brock, regarding the use of social media in litigation and the courtroom.
In October 2010, Facebook announced a new Download Your Information (“DYI”) feature, billed as “an easy way to quickly download to your computer everything you’ve ever posted on Facebook and all your correspondences with friends: your messages, wall posts, photos, status updates and profile information.” The Facebook announcement included a short video detailing how to use the feature. Cnet TV has a more in-depth video. Craig Ball also wrote an article about this feature in the February 23, 2011 issue of Law Technology News.
Obtaining data and images from social networking sites (“SNS”) such as Facebook, LinkedIn and MySpace has become commonplace in civil and criminal litigation. However, issues surrounding proper authentication of this information at trial remain unresolved. The New York Supreme Court’s recent opinion in People v. Karon Lenihan, 1714/2008 (Sup. Ct., Queens Cty. Nov. 12, 2010)highlights judicial skepticism surrounding the use of SNS evidence.
New Jersey’s Appellate Division recently held in State v. Lyons, __ N.J. Super. __, 2010 N.J. Super. LEXIS 227 (App. Div. Nov. 30, 2010) that Defendant Richard Lyons’ placement of child pornography in a shared online folder constituted an offer and distribution of child pornography in violation of N.J.S.A. 2C:24-4b(5)(a). Lyons’ computers contained videos of children engaged in sexual activities, including one that a detective discovered and downloaded when he accessed a shared folder on Gnutella, a peer-to-peer file sharing network, accessible via LimeWire software program.
Earlier today, the Supreme Court denied certiorari in the Tiffany v. eBay action, permitting a ruling to stand that places the burden on trademark owners to police infringements taking place on on-line auction sites. The Supreme Court’s denial of cert was without comment. Critical to the underlying decisions of the Second Circuit Court of Appeals and the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York was that eBay was not itself the seller of the infringing goods, and that it acted promptly to take down auctions when it received notice that the goods were not legitimate. eBay reportedly has made investments of up to $20 million per year to stop fraud and infringements occurring via its site.
In a prosecution for promoting and possessing computer images of child pornography, a Brooklyn appellate panel upheld the conviction of defendant and determined that temporary files automatically “cached” by an internet browser may serve as evidence of promoting and possessing child pornography. People v. Kent, ___ A.D.3d ___, 2010 N.Y. Slip. Op. 7364, 2010 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 7405 (App. Div. 2d Dept. Oct. 12, 2010). The defendant, a professor of public administration at a Dutchess County college, was found guilty of 134 counts of possession of a sexual performance and 2 counts of promotion related to his use of an office computer.
Accessing an Adversary’s Public Social Networking Information — N.Y. Professional Ethics Opinion 843
Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and MySpace are among the top social media websites that have culturally transformed electronic communications and social interactions. Inevitably, these platforms have also affected litigation practice and present myriad ethical dilemmas. One such dilemma is whether an attorney can access an adverse party’s social networking website to obtain information about the party, including impeachment material.
Imagine you are in a New Jersey courtroom and have begun the jury selection process. When presented with one of the prospective jurors, you think that you have read about him or her in a recent article. As a result, you open your laptop and begin to surf the Internet to research the individual, but your adversary objects, stating that he or she does not have a computer. Will the judge rule in your favor? The answer is “yes” based upon the Appellate Division’s recent opinion in Carino v. Muenzen, 2010 N.J. Super Unpub. LEXIS 2154 (App. Div. Aug. 30, 2010).