Topic: Cause Challenges

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

Supreme Court Upholds Importance of Peremptory Strikes

The Supreme Court of Florida properly reversed a jury verdict in a case where counsel was forced to use a peremptory strike during jury selection on a juror who should have been stricken for cause. The jury verdict was reversed even though it was undisputed on appeal that the jury that ultimately decided the case was a “constitutionally impartial” jury. The Supreme Court held it is prejudice “per se” to require counsel to use even […]

June 22, 2007

One Bad Juror Is All It Takes

At the conclusion of Voir Dire, the Defendant wanted to strike four jurors for cause. The judge denied all the challenges. At least one of the jurors was questionable. On appeal, a new trial was ordered by the 4th DCA because “seating a single juror whose impartiality may reasonably be questioned is a structural error not subject to harmless error analysis.” In Dorsett v. State, 941 So2d 587 (4 DCA 2006). the Court noted that the […]

November 22, 2006

Fifty Years Ago – Lawyer’s Wife Murdered

It was fifty years ago last month that Marilyn Burch Fagan was found dead by her husband on the walkway of their home near rural Gainesville. Her husband, Osee Fagan, the County Prosecutor, was involved in the prosecution of a deaf mute, Philip Singer. Returning home near midnight from a late night at the office, he found his wife’s body in the darkness of their front yard underneath the bright starlit country skies. His […]

September 11, 2006


Contact Robert W. Kelley, Esq.