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A Little Bird Told Me About the Trial: Revising Court Rules to Allow Reporting from the Courtroom Via Twitter

BNA Electronic Commerce & Law Report, Vol. 15, September 15, 2010

6 Pages Posted: 19 Jul 2011 Last revised: 19 Aug 2014

Mark L. Tamburri

affiliation not provided to SSRN

Thomas M. Pohl

affiliation not provided to SSRN

M. Patrick Yingling

Reed Smith LLP

Date Written: September 15, 2010

Abstract

Over the past year, a handful of courts around the country have confronted the novel issue of whether to allow reporting of criminal trials from inside the courtroom via Twitter, the micro-blogging and social networking service. While courtroom "tweeting" provides the public with innovative and current access to trial information, certain rules banning or otherwise restricting cameras in the courtroom can also be read to prohibit tweeting from the courtroom. These rules, however, were never drafted with Twitter in mind. Given the increasing use of Twitter and related technologies by mainstream news media, it is likely that state rules committees will soon be seeking to revise the language of certain rules. This article provides a brief overview of the media's increasing use of Twitter to report on trials from within courtrooms. The balance of the article details considerations - both legal and practical - that rules committees will necessarily have to weigh to address this emerging trend.

Keywords: Twitter, courtroom, media, reporting, trial

Suggested Citation

Tamburri, Mark L. and Pohl, Thomas M. and Yingling, M. Patrick, A Little Bird Told Me About the Trial: Revising Court Rules to Allow Reporting from the Courtroom Via Twitter (September 15, 2010). BNA Electronic Commerce & Law Report, Vol. 15, September 15, 2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1888025

Mark L. Tamburri

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

Thomas M. Pohl

affiliation not provided to SSRN ( email )

M. Patrick Yingling (Contact Author)

Reed Smith LLP ( email )

Chicago, IL
United States

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