California Governor Jerry Brown (D) has signed a law (A.B. 141) that makes it a misdemeanor for a juror to willfully disobey “a court admonishment related to the prohibition on any form of communication or research about the case, including all forms of electronic or wireless communication or research.” The law also requires courts to explain this obligation to jurors if they are permitted to separate during trial or after a case is submitted to them.

Passed unanimously in the Assembly and Senate, the bill was sponsored by Assemblyman Filipe Fuentes (D-Los Angeles) who observed that “‘Tweeting’ and ‘Googling’ jurors have caused numerous mistrials … the fact that this kind of communication is not expressly included [in jury admonitions] has resulted in increased problem in courts across the country.” According to a news source, the state Assembly previously approved the measure, but it was vetoed by former Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) who indicated that the matter should be left to the courts. See Law360, August 8, 2011.