According to this story - Jurors Gone Wild - jurors are turning to the Internet for fact and law research. Given this, is it unethical to blog about pending cases, or to create a homepage for one of your defendants?
On the one hand, you might create such a site for a defendant with a public image to maintain (e.g., Martha Stewart), independent of any efforts to influence the jury pool. Plus, prosecutors poison the juror pool (see, e.g., the Ken Lay case), so why can't you neutralize it?
But what if you know or have reason to know that jurors might rely on the off-the-record information you provide on the website, e.g., that the defendant will go to prison if convicted, and that his health issues would make it impossible for him to survive in prison. Thus, my question:
Should the bad acts of jurors (re: reading the defendant's website) render it unethical for you to do something that would otherwise be ethically allowed (re: creating the website)?
I think this ethical issue is going to arise in other contexts. E.g., a lot of law clerks read blogs. Knowing this, is it unethical to blog about cases pending before clerks who read your blog. What if you don't know from what circuit your law-clerk-readers hail but rather, only know that some law clerks, in some jurisdiction, read you blog?
I think we can trust law clerks to not rely on off-the-record information, and I think they'd resent someone trying to feed them information through a blog. So I'm not talking about whether an attempt to feed them information would work (it'd backfire, I bet). Rather, would it be unethical?