Feeds

Juror tweets could force retrial

'Twit' doesn't quite cover it

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

A juror who published Twitter messages during the course of a trial has undermined the trial process and its verdict, lawyers have claimed while launching an appeal. The US juror told reporters he did not think posting the messages was wrong.

An appeal has been lodged in an Arkansas court against a $12.6 million ruling against a building materials firm. Lawyers for the firm have said that the messages, or 'tweets', revealed the juror's bias.

Twitter is a system which lets users post status updates, known as tweets, which are received by the people who 'follow' them.

Russell Wright and his company made 'stoam', a new material that it claimed was as strong as steel but insulated like foam. Two investors sought their money back, describing the company as "nothing more than a Ponzi scheme" such as that run in the financial world by Bernard Madoff.

"Nobody buy Stoam. Its bad mojo and they'll probably cease to Exist, now that their wallet is 12m lighter," said one of juror Johnathan Powell's messages, according to the Associated Press.

Another read: "I just gave away TWELVE MILLION DOLLARS of somebody else's money."

Wright's appeal seeks a new trial, claiming Powell was biased. He "was predisposed toward giving a verdict that would impress his audience", said Wright's application, the AP said.

"Juror Jonathan's public statements show us he that arrived at jury duty with the desire to get on the jury and 'rock' the jury. He researched this topic in advance. He arrived as a self described 'angry' man," the motion said, according to a local newspaper.

"Well, I'm off to see a judge. Hope they don't lock me under the jail, and forget about me for four days," Powell said from his Twitter account as the story broke. "Back from the courthouse. Judge would not see me without all lawyers involved present," he later wrote.

Powell told local paper The Morning News that he had not researched the case beforehand and discussed it with people who were not jurors, as the appeal suggests.

"I didn't do that," Powell told the Arkansas Morning News. "I'd be in hiding if I thought I did something wrong. I didn't."

Copyright © 2009, OUT-LAW.com

OUT-LAW.COM is part of international law firm Pinsent Masons.

Remote control for virtualized desktops

More from The Register

next story
Bladerunner sequel might actually be good. Harrison Ford is in it
Go ahead, you're all clear, kid... Sorry, wrong film
Euro Parliament VOTES to BREAK UP GOOGLE. Er, OK then
It CANNA do it, captain.They DON'T have the POWER!
Musicians sue UK.gov over 'zero pay' copyright fix
Everyone else in Europe compensates us - why can't you?
I'll be back (and forward): Hollywood's time travel tribulations
Quick, call the Time Cops to sort out this paradox!
Megaupload overlord Kim Dotcom: The US HAS RADICALISED ME!
Now my lawyers have bailed 'cos I'm 'OFFICIALLY' BROKE
Forget Hillary, HP's ex CARLY FIORINA 'wants to be next US Prez'
Former CEO has political ambitions again, according to Washington DC sources
prev story

Whitepapers

10 ways wire data helps conquer IT complexity
IT teams can automatically detect problems across the IT environment, spot data theft, select unique pieces of transaction payloads to send to a data source, and more.
Getting started with customer-focused identity management
Learn why identity is a fundamental requirement to digital growth, and how without it there is no way to identify and engage customers in a meaningful way.
How to determine if cloud backup is right for your servers
Two key factors, technical feasibility and TCO economics, that backup and IT operations managers should consider when assessing cloud backup.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security and trust: The backbone of doing business over the internet
Explores the current state of website security and the contributions Symantec is making to help organizations protect critical data and build trust with customers.