Category Archives: Conducting trials

A trial close to home, and a jury weighing evidence

A trial has just ended near my home–the trial of former football coach and charity founder Jerry Sandusky. It has been a crazy first year at Penn State for me because of the events surrounding Sandusky, and I have considered … Continue reading

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When a hung jury is a reasoned “verdict”: The John Edwards trial

Alan Dershowitz makes a compelling case in a CNN op-ed essay that the jury in the John Edwards criminal trial got it right when they failed to reach a verdict on most charges. As he sees the case, The judge … Continue reading

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The active juror – A plea for permitting juror questions

A new editorial in the Chicago Sun-Times makes a good case for letting jurors ask questions in civil trials. The piece points out that the practice often has no law forbidding it, it’s just not conventional practice. One of the … Continue reading

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New Mexico celebrates the jury

Charles Daniels, the Chief Justice of the New Mexico Supreme Court, had a nice essay in the New Mexico Bar Bulletin praising the state’s jury system. He points out at one point that New Mexico: is unique in the United … Continue reading

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So much for the “CSI effect”

A recent NPR story has publicized a study showing that juries do not hold unreasonable standards for evidence. This so-called “CSI effect” was believed to make juries skeptical of anything but the most high-tech, indisputable evidence, but it turns out … Continue reading

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Plain language for jurors

Just a quick update today to send a cheer to the Louisiana Supreme Court, which is joining the bandwagon to improve civil jury instructions. Juries have an undeserved reputation for being unable to handle complex civil cases. In fact, much … Continue reading

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The burden jurors carry

For most people, jury service amounts to just a few days in the courtroom. The trial may be low stakes and over in a day, or it may last a full week. Longer, more intensive trails aren’t the norm, but … Continue reading

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