Topic: Juror Concealment

Court Lifts Limits on Alternate Jurors in Civil Trials

The Florida Rules of Civil Procedure have been amended by the Florida Supreme Court to remove the limit on the number of alternate jurors in civil trials. Effective January 1, 2017, Rule 1.431 has been amended to read “The court may direct that 1 or more jurors be impaneled to sit as alternate jurors in addition to the regular panel.” Currently the rule imposes a limit of two alternate jurors […]

November 29, 2016

Juror’s Mid-Trial Tweets Not Enough for New Trial

This month, in a case of first impression in Florida, the Fourth District Court of Appeal held that statements posted by a juror on social media during trial were insufficiently prejudicial to require a new trial. The juror posted a series of tweets on his Twitter account during jury selection and trial which included: a) “I got picked as a juror … I hate this s___. I’m so pissed, I […]

October 31, 2016

Have You Ever Been In Court?

Last week the Fourth District Court of Appeal reinstated a $4.9 million dollar jury verdict against State Farm Insurance Company in a UM case that had been set aside by the trial judge on the grounds of “juror non-disclosure” about the juror’s prior litigation history. In Gamsen v State Farm, 36 FLW D1630A (Fla 4th DCA 2011), the appellate court held that State Farm’s counsel had “quite simply” not asked […]

August 1, 2011

“Prudent Probing” During Jury Selection

A $900,000 plaintiff’s verdict in a rear-end collision case was reinstated last Friday by the Fifth District Court of Appeal even though two jurors had failed to disclose in voir dire that they had been injured and received medical treatment as a result of prior car accidents. During jury selection, plaintiff’s counsel asked THREE times whether anyone had been injured in a car accident, and specifically asked the entire panel “Have any of […]

February 12, 2008

“A Clear, Direct Question”

A jury in Miami awarded $3.9 million to the mother of a young woman who was killed by a drunk driver. After the verdict, the State Farm defense attorneys found out for the first time that the jury foreman’s father had been an alcoholic. They asked for a new trial alleging that the foreman had concealed this important information from them during jury selection. The trial court denied the request, and the appellate court affirmed the verdict holding that a key requirement […]

January 17, 2008

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