Friday morning’s CLE program at this year’s NAFUSA conference will include a panel discussion on the “Impact of Social Media on Investigations and Litigation,” Social media increasingly implicates legal considerations from the investigatory process to witness and jury strategy. Within this broad and cutting edge topic, the program will focus on the effects of social media on participants in the justice system, the use of this new media as evidence, and its application as a basis for charges or legal claims. The program will take place from 10:15 AM to 11:45 AM.
Social media has had a profound and sometimes unexpected impact on civil litigation, white collar investigations, and jury trials. Evidence derived from social media has served as the basis for prosecutions. Social media history has complicated witness preparation, tainted witnesses, and fueled fascinating cross-examinations and depositions. Maintaining the integrity of the jury trial process has been challenged by jurors’ intense interest in exploring social media commentary about a case where the court has charged jurors with finding the truth based on the evidence presented in the courtroom. Our talented panel of experienced academics and practitioners will explore the issues and impacts which social media brings to the investigation, litigation, and trial of complex fact patterns and inexplicable human behavior. Social media communications and venues can transform the discovery, trial preparation, and issue resolution processes for today’s litigators. Understanding the impact of social media on case development means that litigators today need to be aware how a tweet, a text, or a posting can dramatically complicate effective advocacy and the search for truth.
The panel will be moderated by Jay Stephens, past president of NAFUSA and presently counsel to the board. Jay is of counsel to the Washington office of Kirkland & Ellis and served as the senior vice president and general counsel and corporate secretary of Raytheon Company, during his illustrious career.
The experienced panelists include former D.C. Superior Court Judge Herb Dixon, known as the “Technology Judge”. Judge Dixon is the chair of the ABA Standing Committee on the American Judicial System and a former chair of of the National Conference of State Trial Judges.
The third panelist will be Paula Hannaford-Agor, the Director of the Center for Juries Studies at the National Center for State Courts. She has authored or contributed to numerous books and articles on the American jury system.