“I don’t believe in the jury system”

During jury selection in a car accident case, a prospective juror told counsel she “didn’t believe in the jury system” because of an experience her brother had in a criminal case two years earlier. She said she thought she would have a hard time judging the case because of her personal experience and that she no longer had any faith in the jury system. She also indicated that because of […]

May 12, 2015

Fundamental Error to Restrict Lawyer’s Questions During Voir Dire

A trial judge is Vero Beach was reversed last week for restricting defense counsel’s questions during jury selection. The defense lawyer in the case had been forced by the judge into going to trial without his client being present.  As a result, during jury selection several of the prospective jurors raised questions about his client’s absence and whether his client was required to be present during the trial. This caused the judge, who apparently was upset by […]

April 9, 2015

How to Save a Potentially Contaminated Jury Panel

During jury selection in a civil trial a prospective juror stated in open court that he was familiar with one of the defendant’s expert medical witnesses. The juror said the expert had “kind of screwed-up my dad’s back,” and that his dad had filed a lawsuit against the doctor. The defense lawyer then moved to strike the entire thirty-seven member jury panel because of the prospective juror’s negative comment. Thereafter, […]

January 30, 2013

Failure to Conduct Juror Background Check During Trial May Constitute Lack of Due Diligence

The Third District Court of Appeal recently held that the failure of trial counsel to perform background checks during trial on the members of the jury  – as was suggested by the judge be done during this trial  – may constitute a lack of due diligence, thereby precluding any right to a new trial based on later-discovered juror concealment after the jury’s verdict. Tricam Industries Inc v Coba, 100 So. […]

September 11, 2012

Tweeting Jurors Will Face Jail In California

Going further than his predecessor was willing to go, California Governor Jerry Brown has criminalized juror tweeting. Under AB 141, which will go into effect on January 1, 2012, any juror who willfully disobeys the court admonishment against any form of communication or research about the case, including tweeting, may be sent to jail for contempt. Courts already tell jurors not to talk about an ongoing trial, but under the new […]

October 31, 2011

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