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New Media & the Courts Resources


​​NCSC celebrating the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta

The National Center for State Courts (NCSC) is excited to announce the release Justice Case Files 5: The Case of Cyberbullying. The graphic novel tells the story of Amber, who is bullied at school and online by classmate Madison. The bullying escalates to the point the case winds up in juvenile court. The story is timely--and historical. Its release in 2015 celebrates the 800th anniversay of Magna Carta, which established the rule of law in 1215, as a result of King John of England's consistent bullying. The graphic novel is available online. To purchase the book, please visit ncsc.org/justicecasefiles.
NCSC is honoring Magna Carta by hosting a plethora of social media campaigns. First, NCSC will post #MagnaCartaFacts about the Great Charter every week. NCSC will also ask a trivia question the third Thursday of every month. The winner of the contest will be featured on NCSC's Facebook page. NCSC also created @IamKingJohn1215 on Twitter. This humorous feed features King John's frustrations regarding the creation of Magna Carta.

Supreme Court joining the digital age

Good news! The Supreme Court is working on a plan to make all documents filed with the court available online. Currently, only paper copies of court documents are accessible to the public at the court and are not retrievable on the court’s website, www.supremecourt.gov.  However, according to Chief Justice John Roberts’ “2014 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary,” the new system, which may be available as soon as 2016, would offer all petitions, responses, briefs, and other public documents filed with the court. In his report, Roberts stated, “Judges and court executives are understandably circumspect in introducing change to a court system that works well until they are satisfied they are introducing change for the good.” Iowa Senator Charles E. Grassley, commended Roberts’ release saying it “rightly promotes how the courts have embraced new technology.”

Facebook a Target for discovery

A Florida state appellate court recently required a plaintiff to provide the defendant with photos she had posted on Facebook. According to the National Law Review, the plaintiff, Maria Nucci, sued Target Corp., alleging she slipped and fell in a Target store. During discovery, Target requested access to Nucci’s Facebook photos. The state trial court granted the request because photographs often provided courts with many of the facts that are necessary to decide personal injury cases. The judge in this case “reasoned that photographs posted on social media are neither privileged nor protected by a right of privacy, regardless of the user’s privacy settings.”

Trial Tweets let followers feel like they're in the courtroom

If you cannot attend a trial, Twitter gives you a unique alternative—Trial Tweets. During the three-week trial of Markus Kaarma, who was suspected of killing a 17-year-old man, NBC reporter Lauren Bradley typed nearly 900 tweets of what was happening inside the courtroom. Some people who followed the case from the beginning kept an eye on Twitter during the duration of the trial. Montana realtor Brint Wahlberg said, “Twitter gives me the notification of news reports [about the trial]...throughout the day. I really like it, because it is something that I’m allowed to get updates on immediately, instead of waiting for the 10 o’clock news.”

Tennesse courts are making a difference

Tennessee Courts recently displayed a good deed on their Twitter feedChief Justice Sharon Lee, Justice Cornelia Clark, and Justice Jeffrey Blivins helped pack food at the Tennessee War Memorial Auditorium earlier this month. Way to go team!


Social media tip of the month—act on feedback quickly

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Please e-mail Deirdre Roesch.