Backgrounders

As part of due diligence defense counsel want to know as much about a witness as possible–that’s OK and ethical.  Many of us have found helpful information on social media accounts.

The gist of Formal Opinion 466 is that, within the context of Model Rule 3.5, a lawyer may review a juror’s or potential juror’s various postings on websites and social media. But the lawyer should not send jurors or prospective jurors a request for access, either directly or indirectly, to their social media accounts because doing so would amount to a violation of the prohi-bition in Model Rule 3.5(b) against ex parte communications with jurors that are not authorized by law or court order.

While the above applies to a court-martial member, it’s likely a best practice when researching witnesses in a case.