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News Posted on August 9, 2010

Professor Shestowsky Comments on Jury Internet Access for Plaintiff

Professor Donna Shestowsky was interviewed for an article in the August 2010 issue of Plaintiff magazine on the problems associated with jurors using cell phones and other portable devices to access or post trial-related information online.

Professor Shestowsky is quoted at length in the article, explaining that rules instructing jurors to not do something often backfire, and it may be counterproductive to instruct jurors to not access or post information online.  Research suggests that such instructions "can make them do the forbidden thing more, sometimes quite subconsciously and unintentionally," she said.  Unfortunately, jurors are likely to be unable to truly disregard information about the case that they find online, "thereby making it less likely that a just verdict will be produced," Professor Shestowsky said.

Donna Shestowsky, who has both a law degree and a PhD in Psychology, is a Professor at UC Davis School of Law, where she teaches Criminal Law, Negotiation Strategy, Alternative Dispute Resolution, and Legal Psychology.