Did you know that “fact-check” is a word in the Merriam-Webster dictionary? It’s defined as “to verify the factual accuracy of.” With smart phones and social media, information about anything we want to know is available instantly at our fingertips. But we all know that just because information is instantly available, does not mean it is accurate or tells the full story.
For better or worse, social media, technology, and society shifts in the last few years have changed a lot about the way people receive, process, and share information. For litigators, it would be unwise to discount the impact this plays in how jurors in particular receive, process, and share information. Though jurors are instructed not to do independent research or talk about the case outside the courtroom, they still bring their own life experiences and expectations into the courtroom every day. This often includes the skepticism and need for instant gratification that we have all grown accustomed to in this “fact-checking” era.