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Home Daily News Judge refuses to block maker of Roundup weed

Legal Technology

Can targeted cellphone advertising by a lawsuit defendant constitute jury tampering?

That was one of the issues earlier this month when lawyers for plaintiffs in a case against the makers of the Roundup weed killer asked a California judge to block the company from running ads about Roundup safety and product studies, report the Recorder and the Northern California Record.

Plaintiffs Alva and Alberta Pilliod claim that the weed killer, made by Monsanto, gave them cancer. Their lawyers cited a Wall Street Journal ad on product safety that ran the first day of voir dire, as well as targeted cellphone advertising known as geofencing or geomarketing, according to the Recorder story.

Geofencing sends pop-up ads to cellphone apps within targeted geographic areas. The plaintiffs lawyers asked Judge Winifred Smith of Alameda County to ban the targeted ads within a quarter of a mile of the courthouse.

Smith denied the motion. The court is not persuaded that the alleged geomarketing is materially different from carrying signs outside a courthouse or carrying placards or wearing buttons inside a courtroom, or that it requires a different judicial response, she ruled April 4....