A Palm Beach County judge today will continue hearing from an attorney who wants two jurors to be charged with contempt of court.
Spencer Kuvin says the jurors were distracted by social media during his client's trial, by making several posts on Facebook and Twitter while in the jury box, including some that could be construed as bias. Longtime local defense attorney Michelle Suskauer says this is a hot button issue, especially in our area.
"In Palm Beach County, we're extra sensitive to what's going on with jurors because of course with the John Goodman case that was overturned based on juror misconduct. This is something that judges and lawyers take very seriously."
She says society has changed and the courts need to change with it.
"This is something that the courts really haven't been equipped with how quickly technology has changed the way that we all communicate."
However, Michelle tells us that jurors are now instructed not to use social media to discuss the cases they are hearing. She thinks there may be just one solution.
"Judges normally don't take cell phones away from jurors...and I understand that the judge in this case did not want to start doing that in terms of taking cell phones during a case, but you know what...that may need to happen."
Kuvin believes his client could have received a better result from the trial had the social media activity not been going on. The judge must decide whether those jurors should be brought in for questioning.
Michelle Suskauer is a Florida Bar Board Certified criminal trial attorney, practicing for over 22 years with the Suskauer Law Firm.
She is a past President of the Palm Beach County Bar Association, the Florida Association for Women Lawyers, Palm Beach County Chapter and is currently on the Florida Bar Board of Governors, Board of Directors of the Legal Aid Society of Palm Beach County, Trend's Legal Elite and Florida Super Lawyer.
You may have also seen Michelle on our NewsChannel 5 partners, as she is their legal analyst. She also appears as a legal expert on several national cable networks including Fox News, CNN and NBC.
Photo courtesy of Michelle Suskauer