Tweeting LA Juror Provides Spark for Social Media App

The following nugget from Thomson Reuters columnist Alison Frankel is worthy of a John Grisham novel. But it in fact happened right here in LA, at the beginning of 2010:

The idea for Jury Scout was born about eighteen months ago, when a lawyer in the middle of a three-month trial in Los Angeles noticed a prospective juror continually typing on his mobile phone. The lawyer called [Ron] Kurzman, who was working with him on the case. Kurzman searched the Internet and found out that the juror was posting repeatedly about the trial. Those comments resulted in the juror being removed and Kurzman developing the idea for Jury Scout.

For $295 per individual-specific search, Jury Scout will scour not just Twitter and Facebook but dozens of other sites such as Pandora and Yelp. To jump back to Grisham for a moment, think of Gene Hackman as Rankin Fitch in the 2003 drama Runaway Jury now disqualitying a potential juror because of some untoward comments posted about their local neighborhood IHOP!

Jury Scout creator Kurzman is director of litigation consulting for Magna Legal Services. He tells Frankel that many firms wait until post-trial to use his new service, hoping to find tweets and other material from jurors that can bolster the filing of an appeal.