Using Social Media Surveillance to Support Your Case

Litigation Support: Social Media & Online Activity Monitoring

There are 2 main ways social media surveillance can help your case:

  1. Using a claimant’s, plaintiff’s, defendant’s, witness’ or expert witness’ online activity to determine how it meshes with his or her statements
  2. Interpreting a juror’s or potential juror’s online activity to discover any past experiences or biases which can affect their perception of your case.

Let’s look at the facts:

  • Utilizing social media surveillance is more beneficial now more than ever – the pandemic had more people spending time online for socializing, work, school and virtual events.
  • Approximately 72 percent of U.S. adults use some form of social media, making online platforms a great source of information to use during discovery, jury selection and throughout trial.
  • Between the recent election, shift in the economy, social justice movements and debates surrounding the pandemic, a person’s online activity can give you the insight you need concerning their views and any biases they might have.

What Is Social Media Surveillance?

            Social media surveillance is the process of collecting and interpreting information gathered from online platforms. This can be used to see the type of content someone posts or interacts with before, during and after a lawsuit or investigation. Social media surveillance can be used to see if the information a subject shares in court, aligns with the content they post on online platforms.

Online Activity Reports

Social media surveillance services such as Magna’s ClaimScout & JuryScout will gather information and compile detailed reports to obtain case evidence and/or enhance your trial strategy. Magna will also monitor the subject’s online activity throughout the duration of the trial and post-verdict.

ClaimScout & JuryScout Monitor:

  • Facebook, Instagram and other social networks
  • Blogs and journals
  • Online communities
  • Twitter and other microblogs
  • Message boards
  • Digg, Reddit and other social news sites
  • Business networks
  • Personal websites
  • & much more

Social Media Surveillance for Claimants (ClaimScout)

Scout out whether a claimant, plaintiff, defendant or witness is telling the truth about their claim. ClaimScout can be your online eyes and ears. Using our proprietary methodology, Magna can monitor a person’s internet activity to determine how it meshes with his/her claim.

Online activity reports help trial attorneys determine how the claims made in a case align with the subject’s online behavior and social media presence.

Social Media Surveillance for Jurors (JuryScout)

  • JuryScout can access information on jurors during jury selection, trial and post-verdict.
  • JuryScout can monitor a juror’s internet activity to ensure they are following court instructions, and also gain valuable insight into their thoughts and activities throughout trial as well as post-verdict.

Jury Selection

As courts are by and large limiting access to jurors during jury selection, social media research can be used as a compliment to traditional jury selection services (such as voir dire questionnaire development and public records searches). Social media information may provide additional information on venire panelists which when compiled, may show political and religious affiliations, biases, and more.

Predicting Juror Behavior

By creating a personalized matrix of information for each potential juror, online activity reports can provide additional insights into whether or not a juror has attributes that lead to bias. Additionally, jurors may be monitored during trial and/or post-verdict to see if they are posting about aspects of the case and/or communicating amongst one another during trial.

Post-Verdict

Here’s an example: Magna was retained post-verdict for a high-profile case involving sexual harassment of an employee. Following an unfavorable verdict, JuryScout was able to go back and look at cached information and located four (4) jurors who violated the court’s instruction not to research or discuss the case. Counsel was able to use this information as part of the appeal.

Social Media Surveillance with Magna Legal Services

Looking to use social media surveillance to support your case? Magna Legal Services’ award winning ClaimScout & JuryScout services are a click away. Click below to get started.

For more information or to request a free case consultation, contact us anytime at 866.624.6221, or email us at [email protected]

Additionally, ClaimScout & JuryScout reports can also include information regarding:

  • Address Summary
  • Others using SSN
  • Date/Locations where SSN Issued
  • Census Data
  • Bankruptcy Indicator
  • Property Indicator
  • Corporate Affiliations Indicator
  • Bankruptcy
  • Liens and Judgments
  • UCC Filings
  • People at Work
  • Driver Licenses
  • Vehicle Registrations
  • Property
  • Professional Licenses
  • Voter Registration
  • Hunting/Fishing Permits
  • Concealed Weapons Permits
  • Associates
  • Relatives
  • Neighbors
  • Criminal Records
  • Sexual Offenders
  • Phones

Related Articles:

Online Jury Research: COVID’s Effect on Juror Perspectives & Damages

How the Pandemic Affects Juror Perspectives
… and how to adjust your litigation strategy accordingly

By conducting a series of nationwide surveys, Magna consultants examined COVID-19’s impact on prospective jurors’ attitudes and beliefs. Let’s look at the facts:

In today’s world, many jurors feel the need to be the “guardians of the community” by forcing companies to change their bad behavior with large damage awards. Litigators and those in the insurance industry refer to these as “reptilian jurors“, who are responsible for the increasing frequency of “nuclear verdicts”.

Our research has shown the below trend in recent juror perspectives:

Factors that drive up verdicts include:

  • Juror Vulnerability, Fear, Volatility, & Polarization
  • Rising Costs & Uncertainty of the Future
  • More Millennials on Juries
  • Bad Testimony or Misidentification of Corporate Representatives
  • Anti-Corporate Bias – “Profits over Safety”
  • Not Setting a Floor or Providing a Low Damages Anchor
  • Not Addressing Key Issues/Themes in Jury Selection/Opening

Now more than ever, it is important to know how juror perspectives changed in your specific venue for your specific case issues.

It’s not a question if the pandemic will affect your cases… it’s a question of how it will affect your cases.

In general, many potential jurors now are more vulnerable – both health-wise and financially – than pre-pandemic, which can make people more plaintiff-friendly. However, depending on the venue, the most vulnerable, most risk-averse (i.e., most plaintiff-friendly) may be less likely to show up for jury duty or to be seated on a jury at present.

Luckily, there are some research tools to give you the current data you need to adjust your litigation strategy.

Test Your Damages
with JuryEvaluator

What is your case worth now? JuryEvaluator offers a scientific and statistically significant damages assessment for your ACTUAL CASE from your ACTUAL JURY POOL. This research will consider the effect of COVID-19 and current media climate, to provide insight into your case risk, exposure and value.

  • Research conducted in your case venue using your actual case facts
  • Research captures present-day surrogate juror attitudes and biases
  • Statistical analyses provide a reliable range of potential damages if the case went to a jury trial (economic, non-economic & punitive)
  • Optional Juror Profiling analysis

Online Focus Groups
with JuryConfirm

How has COVID impacted juror perspectives in your venue? Test your themes, storylines, social climate & more with JuryConfirm, Magna’s patented online focus group platform.

  • Evidence analyzer powered by AI
  • Live attorney presentations with limitless capabilities
  • Simulation of court room environment with interactive avatars and live video feed of jurors and attorneys
  • Live (video) juror deliberations with more panels than ever available before
  • Real-time results: Fully-customized questionnaires, polling & presentation feedback
  • Detailed reports featuring case evaluation, theme development, and jury profi­les

Nationwide COVID-19 Study Results

Magna Legal Services conducted a series of nationwide surveys to assess evolving changes and shifts in juror perceptions in this brave new world.

Study includes 5,000 respondents
& 100+ questions about:

  • Technology
  • Finance
  • Law Enforcement
  • Insurance
  • Life Sciences

Learn about our findings:

  • Halo effect
  • Business Interruption Coverage
  • Reptilian Influence
  • Crisis Fatigue
  • Juror Vulnerability

Complete the form to download your FREE copy of Magna’s COVID Study results >>

Contact our 24/7 Hotline for a FREE Case Consultation: 877.220.1821

or, email us at [email protected], or fill out our contact form

Related Articles:

Analyzing & Monetizing Construction Defect Claims

Virtually all construction or property related decisions should be made with costs in mind. But some people are afraid of math.

Regardless of whether you’re an attorney, insurance professional, property owner, or manager, you need to be able to focus on the “vital few” issues, and virtually ignore the “trivial many.” This means knowing how much things cost – not to the penny, but rather a reasonable approximation. The best place to start, when working to make smart economic decisions, is on the BIG expensive issues. You begin by chopping a project into logical parts, and estimating the cost of those chunks, so you can see the forest AND the trees. The earlier in the process you do this, the better.

Magna Legal Services hosted a webinar on January 27, 2021 (recording below), which featured expert panelists explaining the framework behind analyzing and monetizing construction defect claims.

“There’s a lot of parties involved [in a construction defect case]. You have to understand the structure and you have to speak the language… whether it’s the folks on the ground or in the board room, you have to be able to do both,” said Paul Danner of Goldberg Segalla.

Aileen Schwartz of Hill International, Inc. says she makes sure to bring in experts early on to prevent dragging out litigation. “I’ve had cases that were brought in and there were no damages against us. If there are no damages, there is no case”, she said.

If the case ends up going forward, it’s important that it is not a jury trial, Aileen noted, saying “nobody on a jury wants to listen to your construction defect claim. They’re falling asleep. You really need a judge who knows what you’re talking about to hear the cases.”

Every party wants to get the case settled sooner to avoid costly and timely litigation. Magna’s Scott Horwtiz said “Magna’s jury consultants are getting involved more and more on the early side of things to test theories and test themes to see if a small amount of money up front could take care of all of this”.

When preparing your case, organization is key. Pete Fowler explained the importance of starting with “a discreet list of issues — whether its one issue, or hundreds of issues.” In conjunction with the list of issues, Fowler utilizes “a sensible list of costs associated with each issue, and a sensible list of all the people who might be involved with each of those issues.” “It gets to be this big horrible matrix,” he added.

Watch the full webinar recording below to hear our expert panel break down these complex cases.

This webinar originally aired live on 1.27.2021

Webinar details:

Panelists:
Pete Fowler, Founder, Pete Fowler Construction
Scott Horwitz, Esq., National Director of Graphics Consulting & Trial Presentation, Magna Legal Services
Aileen R. Schwartz, Senior VP, Sr. Corporate Counsel US & Privacy Officer, Hill International, Inc.

Moderated by:
Paul S. Danner, Esq., Partner, Goldberg Segalla

Presented by:
Peter Hecht, Partner & Executive Vice President of Sales, Magna Legal Services

Learn more about utilizing trial graphics & tutorials for complex cases here.

Click here to view a list of more upcoming webinars & conferences.

Why You Should Consider a Jury Consultant

Litigators leave nothing to chance, juries included. While most trial lawyers feel comfortable selecting and working with a jury, a jury consultant is an invaluable addition to your trial team. Magna jury consultants work hand in hand with your trial team to plan, refine, and retool arguments, evidence, and visual communication strategies in order to strengthen your case with the jury.

Continue reading

Debriefing in Law: Important for Your Future Performance

debriefing in law

Many legal professionals are aware of the importance of doing research before selecting members of a jury. That’s why jury focus groups are so beneficial prior to voir dire preparation. Importantly, it can be just as beneficial talking to jurors after a trial has concluded. Specifically, debriefing jurors after a trial can help both jurors gain closure on a case as well as help lawyers by providing valuable feedback and suggestions that can be utilized in future cases.  Here is how debriefing the jurors works and why it’s can be so important.

Continue reading

ClaimScout: What You Should Know About Social Media Surveillance

Research is a major part of any lawsuit, as having accurate facts on your side can make or break your case. So it stands to reason that the more information you can find out about a person, the better. When you consider that the vast majority of U.S. adults have a social media account — with 79 percent of internet users being on Facebook alone — it makes sense to look online for information you might not already have. If you don’t have the time or expertise to do this yourself, you can hire a company to perform social media surveillance for you. Here’s how this process works and ways it can benefit you.

Continue reading

Trial Advice: Improve the Effectiveness of Witness Preparation

improve witness protection

Law firms spend hours doing research long before the average trial or deposition, but one detail that is often missed is witness preparation, an essential element of depositions and trials. After all, the impression a witness makes on the jurors is important, as it can affect their final decision on the case. This is not a good thing when the impression the jurors have is negative. Most witnesses have little or no experience testifying and training. Fortunately, witness preparation is available. This type of training strives to make sure witnesses are properly prepared for trial and deposition testimony. Here’s what you need to know about the importance of witness preparation and how Magna Legal Services can help with it.

 

Continue reading

Why Machines Can’t Replace Human Court Reporters

Court reporting services have long been an essential part of legal proceedings. No matter the sharp questioning of counsel, the compelling testimony of witnesses or the detail of evidence examination, it is all for naught without someone there to record what happened. Court reporters are present at depositions, in courtroom trials and other forums to document vital information during a legal case.

Continue reading