In mid-August 2012, the federal judiciary released a new model jury instruction to address the growing problem of juror use of social media, smart phones, and the like in conjunction with or before deliberations in a case.  This model jury instruction can be used in both civil and criminal cases.  All practitioners in federal court should use use this new instruction or language similar to it in all trials in light of the very broad use of social media and smart phones by the general public and the numerous abuses of such media by jurors even during the trial itself.  This instruction or some shortened version of it can also be used as the trial progresses to remind jurors of the prohibitions now set forth in the instruction. Jury Instruction -- The Use of Electronic Technology to Conduct Research on or Communicate about a Case.