Improper Melbourne Analysis Requires Reversal of Criminal Conviction

Earlier this summer, the Third District Court of Appeal reversed a criminal conviction due to a trial court’s improper Melbourne analysis.  In Brannon v. State, Defendant, Earl Brannon, was convicted of two counts of criminal trespass and one count of resisting arrest without violence.  During jury selection, the jurors were questioned regarding their prior interactions with law enforcement, as there was expected to be testimony from police officers during trial. […]

August 23, 2021

Jury Selection Refresher – Top 10 Cases

It has been over a year since many of us have been inside a courtroom, let alone in trial.  Now that courthouses are opening up across the county, we wanted to provide a refresher for the top ten cases you should have in your arsenal for jury selection in Florida.   Kochalka v.Bourgeois, 162 So. 3d 1122, (Fla 2nd DCA 2015) Defense verdict reversed in car crash case because juror […]

June 21, 2021

New Trial Granted Because Judge Improperly Denied Cause Challenge

Last week, the Third District Court of Appeal granted a new trial in an auto crash case where the trial court improperly denied the Plaintiff’s cause challenge against a juror who expressed impartiality.  In Rivas v. Sandoval, ___ So. 3d ___ (2021), during jury selection the Plaintiff’s counsel questioned the venire about personal experiences with car crashes.  One juror stated both he and his son had been in a similar […]

May 11, 2021

Mistrial Denied After Jurors Chatted in Zoom Virtual Jury Trial

Earlier this week in California, a mistrial was denied in a virtual jury trial when jurors were communicating with the Plaintiff through the Zoom “chat” feature.  This was a mesothelioma case involving claims for personal injuries against two companies who allegedly caused Plaintiff’s mesothelioma while he was working on Navy ships.  During trial, when the Judge and attorneys were speaking privately in a Zoom “breakout room,”  two jurors communicated with […]

August 20, 2020

Boston Marathon Bomber’s Death Sentence Vacated due to Possible Juror Bias

Last week, the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit vacated Boston Marathon Bomber Dzhorkar Tsarnaev’s death sentence due to a trial judge not properly vetting a juror for possible bias.  Tsarnaev was convicted and sentenced to death in 2015 for his role in the horrific April 2015 Boston Marathon bombing which killed 3 people and injured more than 260 other people.  In a 224 page opinion, the […]

August 3, 2020

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