by H. Albert Liou and Jasper L. Tran
from Volume 9 (2019-2020)
How can Internet research be used properly and reliably in law? This paper analyzes several key and very different issues affecting judges, jurors, and lawyers. With respect to judges, this paper discusses the rules of judicial conduct and how they guide the appropriate use of the Internet for research; the standards for judicial notice; and whether judges can consider a third category of non-adversarially presented, non-judicially noticed factual evidence. With respect to jurors, this paper discusses causes of and deterrents to jurors conducting Internet research during trials; and the recourse available to parties who are adversely impacted by such behavior. With respect to lawyers, this paper discusses reliance on and potential pitfalls of using free Internet resources to conduct legal research; the dangers of rotten Internet links; and evidentiary considerations in citing to Internet evidence.