You stand up, thank the court, and walk over to the lectern. On your way over you say the command, “jury on” and your Google Glass comes to life. Instantly in the top section of your screen, a diagram with each juror’s name is displayed. On the bottom half is your voir dire outline. Only you can see what’s being displayed.
While you make direct eye contact with your potential jurors, the video function of Google Glass goes live and your entire voir dire is captured for later review and analysis. At the same time, the live password protected video stream is sent via Wi-Fi back to your office for young associates to watch and learn how to pick a jury. At a separate location on the other side of the country, jury consultants are also watching and listening to each question and answer.
As you look at juror number 1 sitting in front of you to your left, you start the dialog by asking, Ms. Jones, “Is anyone in your family a doctor?”
Almost immediately Ms. Jones’ profile pops up on the small screen above your eye. In this case, you’ve activated a third party app that uses facial recognition to identify people you look at and to access a special trial lawyer database that depending on your subscription, accesses a system similar to Lexis or Westlaw.
Using your touchpad placed on top of the lectern, you select “social” to switch from the current database to “Glass Social Summary” that displays an easy to read summary of Ms. Jones latest social media and blog posts.
As you ask your questions, you are immediately made aware of the fact that this juror’s cousin is a cardiologist at UCLA Medical Center. When Ms. Jones answers your original question with a “no”, you then follow up with “how about extended family members?” Ms. Jones smiles and happily reports that her cousin is a doctor at UCLA. The questions and dialog continue.
A text notice pops up on your private Google Glass screen while you’re talking to Ms. Jones. The jury consultant who is also watching the live video feed doesn’t like what she’s seeing or listening to. She sends you the term “bump” indicating you’ll want to eventually get rid of this juror with a challenge.
Rather than looking down and tapping your touchpad, you simply say “switch” and your Google Glass accesses the new court authorized jury person database (CAJPD). As with everything else at the courthouse, the paper juror information lists are a thing of the past. Today, counsel has limited access to CAJPD. Home, work and prior jury service details instantly fill your confidential screen. Because of the information made available to you through this technology, you spend less time than you normally would with this particular juror and move on to the next.
During the process, your designated legal associate back at the office shares thoughts, feedback and even a few questions via your Google Glass screen. You use several of the suggestions to complete your voir dire.
Before sitting down, you voice activate the “final step” command and your Google Glass runs a final program that automatically initiates an almost instant “accuracy” search for each person you questioned during jury selection. During your voir dire, everything that’s been discussed has been automatically recorded and indexed by the related Google Glass “index” service. In this case, you’re looking for inaccuracies between what’s been represented to you by a prospective juror and what your databases show.
Several blue and green hits come back. A third hit is marked bright red. Earlier Mr. Green, juror #11, indicated he had never been in trouble with the law. The red hit tells you his memory is, shall we say, a bit lacking today. When asked by the judge at the beginning of voir dire, this gentlemen neglected to acknowledge any prior criminal convictions.
Your automatic Google Glass “index” conflict search reveals that in truth, Mr. Green has been arrested and convicted several times for driving under the influence. Once in California and once in Nevada. Another “bump” message pops up on your Google Glass screen from your consultant. You think to yourself, “Really. Didn’t think I’d figure that one out on my own did you?”
You eventually sit back down at the counsel table with a much more thorough understanding of exactly who your potential jurors are. Back at the office, your new young associates now have a better idea about what good jury selection looks like. Your jury consultant on the other side of the United States also is in the process of sending “Glass Updates” (similar to email or text) to your Google Glass screen to help you make some final decisions after opposing counsel is finished with his voir dire.
You did all this while maintaining eye contact with your jurors and never once looking down at your notes. Because of what has become a standard pre-trial motion in limine to exclude the mention that either counsel is using Google Glass, your potential jurors were not aware that counsel was taking advantage of this technology.
The entire jury selection process took less time while providing a more meaningful dialog. All counsel, parties and the court now have a much better understanding of who is sitting in the jury box. And that’s a good thing. After all, isn’t that what jury selection is really all about?
Mitch Jackson has been a trial lawyer for 27 years and is a 2013 California Litigation Lawyer of the Year (CLAY Award) and 2009 Orange County Trial Lawyer of the Year. When he’s not trying cases, Mitch uses social media to help attorneys become better trial lawyers and to show everyone (not just lawyers) how to communicate more effectively. His law firm website is JacksonandWilson.com and his communication tips blog is MitchJackson.com
Mitch can’t wait to use Google Glass during trial. Also please note that several of the tools and databases referenced in the post have not yet been developed. But they will :-)
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