Topic: Reasonable Doubt Standard

“Hearing About” Murder Case Not Enough for Cause Challenge

Yesterday the Fourth District Court of Appeal upheld the trial court’s denial of a challenge for cause directed at a potential juror in a case involving murder-for-hire. In Samuels v. State, 11 So. 3d 413 (Fla 4th DCA, 2009), the Court reaffirmed the longstanding rule that if there is any reasonable doubt about a juror’s ability to render an impartial verdict the juror should be stricken for cause. As noted by the […]

May 14, 2009

“Conflicting Views” Raise a Reasonable Doubt

Today the Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed a criminal conviction because the trial judge failed to strike for cause a juror who “held conflicting views” on the presumption of innocence. Initially, during jury selection the juror stated “he’s guilty until proven innocent,” but later said “I think it was a misunderstanding earlier…,” and then went on to state “I can be fair and impartial.” The Court looked at the entirety of the juror’s […]

June 18, 2008

Cause Challenges for Caps On Damages and Rising Insurance Rates

This week, in Rodriguez v. Lagomasino, 972 So. 2d 1050 (Fla 3rd DCA 2008) the Third District Court of Appeal reversed a defense verdict in an auto accident case because the trial judge failed to strike two questionable jurors for cause. During voir dire, prospective Juror Gutierrez said he would not favor either side and would be “in the middle,” but he had also said his wife had been in an auto […]

January 26, 2008

Voir Dire and Comparative Fault

Last week, in Algie v. Lennar Corp., 969 So. 2d 1135 (Fla 4th DCA 2007) the 4th District Court of Appeal reversed a defense verdict in a slip and fall case. A juror had told the lawyers during jury selection that although he wouldn’t have any problem “serving fairly” if chosen, he believed that in every slip and fall case the person who slips and falls is at least partially responsible. The juror […]

November 19, 2007

Whose Prejudice Is This Anyway?

The Fourth District Court of Appeal reversed a breach of contract case for failure to excuse a Juror Green for cause who said she  had a “bad taste” from having been sued in the past which would “probably” cause her to view the case with prejudice one way or another. The problem was — Green never did say against whom she would be prejudiced, and none of the attorneys ever followed […]

August 24, 2007

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