As many trial attorneys will tell you, the most crucial phase in many trials is jury selection. While its significance is known, attorneys are often left with minimal information gathered through juror questionnaires or voir dire from which they are forced to analyze cause challenges and make strike decisions.  However, the growth of social media over the past decade has enabled lawyers to gather additional information about the interests, activities and proclivities of veniremen that allows counsel to make more informed decisions during the jury selection process.

Social Media Jury

According to Pew Research Center, 74% of online adults use social media sites. The numbers are consistent across gender, education and income levels.  A trial attorney, therefore, has the ability to discover information about three out of every four prospective jurors on the Internet.Continue Reading Social Media and Jury Selection

In its 1984 decision in Hansome, the Missouri Supreme Court required an “exclusive causal connection” between the employee’s exercise of rights under the workers’ compensation statute and the adverse action the employee challenged.  No more.  Today, the Missouri Supreme Court swept Hansome aside and concluded the employee need only show that his exercise of rights under the workers’ compensation statute was a “contributing factor” to the adverse action. 
Continue Reading Missouri Supreme Court Changes Causation Standard In Workers’ Compensation Retaliation Cases

Recently in Asbestos Columns, published by Harris Martin, I authored an article on the causation of lung cancer asking how much does asbestos really contribute.  Courts that look at the issue of causation in asbestos cases are now less likely to allow testimony from plaintiff’s experts that any exposure above background will substantially contribute to cause an asbestos related disease and more likely to require a plaintiff to prove that the alleged exposure attributable to a defendant was sufficient to cause his disease.
Continue Reading Asbestos: How Much Does it Contribute to Lung Cancer?

Much like its classification of the UV rays from sunshine and “moonshine” (alcoholic beverages), the International Association for Research on Cancer (IARC) has now classified outdoor air as a human carcinogen.
Continue Reading The Sun, the Moon, and the Air: How Much Deference Should a Court Give to Agency Classifications?