Tatum Lowe, "The Power of Modern Media on an 'Impartial' Jury: A Deeper Look at the Kobe Bryant Wrongful Death Lawsuit" – Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review
Pepperdine Caruso School of Law third-year student Tatum Lowe’s article, The Power of Modern Media on an "Impartial" Jury: A Deeper Look at the Kobe Bryant Wrongful Death Lawsuit, has been published in the Loyola of Los Angeles Entertainment Law Review.
In her article, Lowe examines the impact that social media has on an “impartial jury” with a special look at the Kobe Bryant wrongful death case, where the defendant was attempting to move the case from Los Angeles because of his concerns of an impartial jury. The article examines what a defendant is supposed to do when there is no venue that would be able to give him an “impartial jury.” Courts must now make the difficult choice of settling for potentially tainted jurors and thus comprising one’s right to an impartial jury or taking the proactive steps required to protect those who face this widespread media attention.
Lowe, an Associate Editor of the Pepperdine Law Review, Volume XLIX, chose to write about the topic because of her passion for sports law. She found the Kobe Bryant case unique because the question of an impartial jury had been examined in criminal cases, but not in civil cases. Lowe believes this issue will only become more important as social media continues to grow and the public consumes their news via these platforms. She truly believes that the courts will need to do more to meet their traditional definition of an impartial jury in the coming years.
Excerpt from The Power of Modern Media on an "Impartial" Jury: A Deeper Look at the Kobe Bryant Wrongful Death Lawsuit
The impact of the modern media on jury impartiality has never been more prevalent than today. Whether in criminal or civil trials, courts are faced with adjudicating cases with constant media coverage. This is especially concerning when these issues gain nationwide coverage thus leaving very few people without some sort of preconceived notion or opinion on the case. Courts today are now faced with jury pools that come in with "knowledge" and preconceived opinions before any client has had the chance to make their case. Thus, it is not surprising that the defendant in the Kobe Bryant wrongful death suit was concerned about his ability to have an "impartial jury" in Los Angeles County.