As the re-trial of former lobbyist Kevin Ring draws closer, Ring's lawyers and the Justice Department prosecutors on Friday filed a jury questionnaire that delves into e-mail, lobbying and ethics.
The 16-page questionnaire—agreed to by both sides—asks prospective jurors a variety of questions: from the use of e-mail, Twitter and text messages to the potential juror’s view of lobbying as a whole. "How frequently do you use electronic mail?" one question asks. "What political internet sites or weblogs do you read regularly, if any?"
The lawyers also want to know about whether potential jurors use BlackBerry mobile devices to send and receive e-mail. The questionnaire—click here for a copy—also explores whether the potential juror has any ties to the federal government.
Ring, represented by Miller & Chevalier, is charged with participating in a conspiracy to provide illegal gratuities to public officials. He is scheduled to stand trial in October in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The trial is expected to run through the end of November.
Last year, the government’s case against Ring ended in a mistrial when jurors became deadlocked. Ring, an associate of former lobbyist Jack Abramoff, worked for Greenberg Traurig and later at Barnes & Thornburg.
Potential jurors are asked in the questionnaire to answer yes or no to questions about the lobbying industry. Two examples: “Lobbying is a necessary part of democratic society based on the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.” And: “Lobbying is paying off politicians and government officials to get them to do something.”
The questionnaire also asks about the prospective juror’s overall opinion of the ethics and honesty of members of Congress and their staff. Judge Ellen Segal Huvelle has set a status conference in the case for Sept. 2.