Topic: Juror Misconduct

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

To Google or Not to Google?

As attorneys, we go to great lengths to select the jury who will decide our client’s fate at trial – yet today, there is a looming, additional silent juror banging at the door attempting to, and sometimes succeeding in, getting in – Google and the age of information overload. Earlier this month a Broward County criminal defendant requested a new trial based on juror misconduct. Defendant, Dr. Scott Strolla, was […]

October 15, 2019

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

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