September 2016


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New Media & the Courts Resources


@GACourts host state’s first Twitter Town Hall

On September 15, 2016, Georgia State Court of Appeals judges Stephen Dillard and Carla McMillian, along with the Judicial Council/AOC, hosted a Constitution Day Twitter Town Hall to answer questions from and interact with constituents. Participants sent in their questions using #AskGAJudges about an array of topics from re-election and citizenship to law school and grammar and punctuation. @GACourts received engagement from an 8th grade class, lawyers and law students. At one point during the forum, #AskGAJudges was trending on Twitter. View their Twitter Town Hall timeline on Storify.

New Florida podcast personalizes judges

If sentimentalism suits your style, tune into Florida’s new podcast “Open Ninth: Conversations Beyond the Courtroom.” The podcast features personal stories from judges and interviews innovators in the legal field.  Orange-Osceola Chief Judge Fred Lauten serves as the host, and in the first episode he interviews Jorge Labarga, Chief Justice of the Florida Supreme Court, who details his journey from fleeing violence in communist Havana to becoming the state’s top jurist. The second episode shares a circuit judge’s account of summiting Mount Kilimanjaro. Another episode spotlights a judge who DJ’s an early morning music show. The podcast launched August 15 as part of Florida Courts' communication plan that seeks to better connect with citizens.

Buyer beware: Yelp not liable for unreliable reviews

Yelp’s lawyers have had a busy month. On September 12 a federal appeals court found that Yelp is not liable for negative reviews posted on its site “because it relies on materials posted by users, dismissing a libel lawsuit filed against the company by the owner of a Washington state locksmith company.”  Owner Douglas Kimzey claimed the bad review was actually about another business and said that Yelp transferred the review to his business in an attempt to extort him to pay to advertise with the company. In a separate case currently under review, Yelp is warning users that another lawsuit “targeting critical posts about a law firm could lead to the removal of negative reviews and leave consumers with a skewed assessment of restaurants and other businesses.”

Diggy the Dog still smiling after winning court case

In Waterford Township, Michigan, there is an ordinance prohibiting any person from owning, possessing or maintaining a pit bull/pit bull terrier within the township. A violation can result in a civil breach and a fine of $500. When dog owner Dan Tillery posted a picture of his smiling dog Diggy on Facebook, he didn’t expect the township to file an infraction against him. Diggy is an American Bulldog and his owner had to go to court to prove it. He got verification of the dog's breed from the Detriot Dog Rescue. The court dismissed the ordinance violation charge earlier this month, allowing Diggy to stay in his forever home with his owner.

New app lets users solve courtroom case

Your latest app addiction is on its way. According to Pocket Gamer, Twelve Absent Men is a humorous puzzle-adventure that allows users to question witnesses to figure out the truth about a mysterious crime. You can examine witnesses and use clues to counter the claims of other witnesses. The game is expected to be available for download on Android and iOS devices in November.

We welcome suggestions for future content and feedback on current issues.
Please e-mail Deirdre Roesch.