August 2015


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New Media & the Courts Resources


Judge blames "mindless digital interaction" for juror texts during trial


Even though a juror in a high-profile New York murder trial texted about the case, a judge let the guilty verdict stand. Johnna Lorraine violated the court's orders by engaging in texting and did not immediately report it to the court. But Judge Thomas Miller determined her conduct did not prejudice the defendant's case - and she might not have realized she was violating the court's order: "It is an unfortunate reality that in an increasingly digital world, the ability to remain connected at every waking moment can lead to improper and inappropriate contact, whether desired or not, particularly in the setting of a jury trial. Some persons may be so accustomed to mindless digital interaction that they could be unable to process the notion that texting is a form of communication prohibited by jurors.” Read more about the case. 


Ballot selfies legal again in New Hampshire

A New Hampshire federal judge has overturned the state’s law banning “ballot selfies” because it violated individuals’ right to free speech. The law was initially passed in September 2014, making it illegal for voters to share an image of a marked ballot on social media with a fine up to $1,000 as punishment. Read the full story. 

Plug into NCSC Connected Community


NCSC’s new Connected Community allows you to join communities of interest on topics such as public electronic access to court documents and social media – or, start your own community. Members can ask and answer each other’s questions and share documents and other resources to a community library for future reference.  You can also search the network for your peers at courts in other regions or states and connect with them. Too busy to visit the website? Then log in and set your email preferences to Daily Digest to receive only one email each day, summarizing the previous day's posts. Don't miss the conversation! Request your sign-in credentials here. 

Review the federal government on Yelp

The federal government wants you to rate your experiences about their services. Constituents can visit the Public Services and Government section on Yelp to review federal and state tourist destinations, services and buildings, including memorials, courthouses, department of motor vehicles, landmarks, post offices, and more. Learn more. 

Spread your knowledge in Trends 2016

Submissions for NCSC's 2016 Trends in State Courts are now being accepted. Trends is the only publication of its kind and enjoys a wide circulation among the state court community. It is distributed in hard copy and electronically. Please email abstracts of no more than 500 words by October 15, 2015 to Deborah Smith at Abstracts received after this date will be accepted for consideration in our monthly online edition. Visit the Trends in State Courts website.

Social media tip of the monthdon't be afraid to diversify your content

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