What We Do
The Juries Act 1981 allows counsel for a party engaged in a jury trial, or their agents, to access the list of prospective jurors at least one week prior to the start of a jury trial. Jury Selection Services are specialist online investigators. We will complete an online search starting with the information from the jury list.
The efficacy of researching potential jurors on the internet is clear. International commentary suggests that counsel may be obligated to perform this service, and quite frankly, New Zealand has lagged behind many other jurisdictions where the type of services we offer are an integral part of the litigation process. If we as counsel do not challenge for cause jurors who hold extreme views that are published on the internet, relevant to our case, are we not failing in our duties?
Jury Selection Services are expert online investigators and information analysts. We will undertake a passive review of each prospective juror's digital footprint, within the confines of the law and legal ethics.
This includes social media reconnaisance, and we endeavour to identify pseudonym usernames leading to "hidden" online profiles. When someone goes to these lengths to hide their social media profile, it is often because they are expressing strong personal views, and do not wish these views to be overtly linked back to them. This is vital information for Counsel to review prior to the jury selection, as it may be reliable evidence to suggest the individual can not be impartial as between the parties.
The range of information we can provide includes:
Sports and hobbies
Social media profiles
Of course, we can not guarantee that all of this will be available publicly for all prospective jurors, but, our comprehensive system using expert investigators (not software, which is prone to missing crucial conclusions) will find what is out there.
What We Require From You
Counsel wishing to engage us will need to pre book our jury profiling services and engage in a confidential agency agreement to ensure we can access the jury list on your behalf and complete the digital investigation on each juror. Our goal is a four day turn-around, with an electronic copy of our report sent, followed with two or three spiral-bound bundle's with alphabetic tabulation. We flag potential jurors where our investigations have unearthed material that could give rise to a challenge with cause.
While our reports are not covered by the Juries Act 1981, treating the legislation as always speaking, and acting within the spirit of that law, we require our clients to sign a written undertaking that you will not provide your client nor leave them alone with a copy of the profiles produced by Jury Selection Services. Further you agree that you will return all copies of our juror profiles following the trial and any appeal.
We offer four packages, with add-ons available whatever product you choose. While a price can not be placed on justice, we appreciate that often, defendant's budgets are limited. Our product range reflects this.
Our premium package is the Platinum service, which includes a comprehensive search of all names in the jury pool list, a search of five names in the witness list, and an in-court presence at jury selection if required. Our Gold Service provides a comprehensive search of all of the names on the jury pool list, but omits the extra services. Our Silver and Bronze services reflect the fact that often, parties to proceedings are already under immense financial pressure. For the more price-sensitive client we allow counsel to make use of our due dilligence processes, by undertaking a straightforward internet and social media search on each name in the jury pool list.
In every package, we provide both an electronic report with sources of information listed, and a more Court-friendly alphabetically arranged and tabulated bundle.
For a comprehensive description of our packages, along with a price list, please contact us.
Whichever product your client elects, we are flexible with adding on features from any plan. For example, many counsel wish to utilise the platinum feature of having 5 profiles of non-jurors. These are supplied in separate bundles, and can be invaluable in conducting proceedings. Counsel in longer trials may wish to engage our in-court assistance at the beginning, and have the ultimate 12 jurors investigated more thoroughly once empanneling has occured.
From the outset, we must stress that some people simply do not have a digital footprint, or there is only minimal information available online. We can not find information that does not exist, or is private and would risk alerting the prospective juror to our search. In addition to digital profiling, we can provide physical surveillance if required, and this may be appropriate in very exceptional circumstances, for example where no online information is identified, and there is good cause to suspect the information provided on the jury pool list does not point to a real person. Any physical surveillance would of course be conducted in a manner that carries zero risk of detection, so as to comply with the Juries Act 1981 and rules relating to contempt of Court. Jury Selection Services' lead investigator is trained in all aspects of covert foot and vehicle surveillance, for the purpose of evidence gathering and background profiling.
We are very, very good at tracking down individuals, and telling you about their affiliations, family connections, business interests and property holdings. We are also very, very good at finding their social media profiles and summarising their use. But, we can not find it all, especially under strict time-frames. What we can find, though, is extraordinarily valuable. With the time available, while we are limited in what we can do, we are certain that once you have used our services, you will never want to conduct a trial without Jury Selection Services again.