Saturday, March 14, 2009

Court Case Not Likely To Be Overturned Because Of Tweeting

Juror Johnathan Powell recently made headlines when his use of Twitter before, during and after a case led to motion being filled for the dismissal and possible retrial in a $12.6million case against Russell Wright and Stoam Industries.

According to the reports the defendants who had lost the lawsuit filed a motion for a new trial Thursday claiming that "juror Johnathan" was not a fair and impartial juror because he communicated online about the trial using Twitter and conducted research about being a juror. However it now appears unlikely that the case will be overturned.

Powell said all of the comments that he made on his Twitter account about the case were sent after the trial. He made other comments about getting picked for the jury, lunch and other things during breaks but nothing relevant to the case, he said.

All of Johnathan's Tweets about the case can be found on his Twitter page, specifically page 8.

According to the dismissal motion several of the Tweets coming during the trial period, however as any good Tweeter knows Twitter time stamps change according to the time zone preference of the person who is checking it.

Greg Brown, one of the attorney's for the plaintiffs told the Northwest Arkansas Times that he believes the time shown in the affidavit is two hours early because the juror's Twitter post about lunch could not have been made at 10:24 a.m. because lunch was not served until noon. Furthermore a second more compelling Tweet "I just gave away $12 million of someone else's money" time stamped at 2:09 p.m. could not have been correct as alleged, because the jury did not even retire to deliberate until 3:09 p.m., therefore Powell would not have know the outcome.

So it seems unlikely that a dismissal would be granted, it also seems unlikely that Mr. Powell would face any potential charges for juror misconduct.

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