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Thaddeus Hoffmeister
Professor
Recent Activity
As some may recall, last week I posted about the efforts of a New Jersey state legislator who has introduced a bill to allow citizens to volunteer for jury duty. The post and information about the bill can be found... Continue reading
Posted 6 hours ago at Juries
A story out of Allentown, PA provides just one more example of social media's impact on jurors. Here, a witness in the Amanda Hein first-degree murder trial was apparently lovestruck by one of the jurors so much so that he... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Juries
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Asymmetry as Fairness: Reversing a Peremptory Trend Anna Roberts Abstract: A recent Ninth Circuit decision, prohibiting peremptory challenges on the basis of sexual orientation, reveals the continuing evolution of the Batson doctrine. Meanwhile, contrary judicial voices demand the abolition of... Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Juries
New Jersey state Assemblyman Craig Coughlin (D-Middlesex) has introduced a bill (A2949) to create a new pool of potential jurors from volunteers. The relevant portions of the bill can be found below. 1. N.J.S. 2B:20-2 is amended to read as... Continue reading
Posted Apr 8, 2014 at Juries
Eight months after six jurors acquitted George Zimmerman in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin, the trial judge handling the case has decided to release the names of the jurors to the general public. Orland Sentinel (blog): Names of six... Continue reading
Posted Apr 4, 2014 at Juries
Missouri is set to become the latest state to exempt nursing mothers from jury duty. Both the Missouri Senate and House have passed legislation that would allow nursing mothers to avoid jury duty so long as they provide the court... Continue reading
Posted Mar 31, 2014 at Juries
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Neuro-Voir Dire and the Architecture of Bias: New Law Review Article Dov Fox ABSTRACT:Courts and commentators routinely assume that “bias” on the jury encompasses any source of influence upon jurors that does not come directly from the evidence presented at... Continue reading
Posted Mar 29, 2014 at Juries
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This Is Your Sword: How Damaging are Prior Convictions to Plaintiffs in Civil Trials Kathryn Stanchi Deirdre Bowen Abstract: The conventional wisdom in law is that a prior conviction is one of the most powerful and damaging pieces of evidence... Continue reading
Posted Mar 24, 2014 at Juries
California has become the first state in the country to introduce legislation to safeguard a juror's social media username and password. California bill (A.B. 2070) prohibits a court from requiring or requesting a juror or prospective juror to disclose a... Continue reading
Posted Mar 20, 2014 at Juries
Last week in U.S. v. Wilkes a three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals held that it is not a violation of the defendant's 6th Amendment rights to have a trial judge rather than a jury determine the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 17, 2014 at Juries
Louisiana State Senator Barrow Peacock has introduced a bill (SB 353) to exempt records and personal information of individuals called to jury service. According to the state senator, this law will safeguard juror privacy by preventing the release of the... Continue reading
Posted Mar 12, 2014 at Juries
Update: It appears that AbbVie (the pharmaceutical spin-off of Abbott Laboratories) will not appeal the 9th Circuit's decision to the Supreme Court. Thus, at least in the jurisdiction of the 9th Circuit, attorneys are now prohibited from using peremptory challenges... Continue reading
Posted Mar 11, 2014 at Juries
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Language Disenfranchisement in Juries: A Call for Constitutional Remediation Jasmine B. Gonzales Rose Abstract: Approximately thirteen million U.S. citizens, mostly Latinos and other people of color, are denied the right to serve on juries due to English language requirements and... Continue reading
Posted Mar 6, 2014 at Juries
Today, the Supreme Court granted cert in Warger v. Shauers. The issue in the case is [w]hether Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) permits a party moving for a new trial based on juror dishonest during voir dire to introduce juror... Continue reading
Posted Mar 3, 2014 at Juries
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More From the #Jury Box: The Latest on Juries and Social Media Judge Amy J. St. Eve, Judge Charles P. Burns and Michael A. Zuckerman ABSTRACT This Article presents the results of a survey of jurors in federal and state... Continue reading
Posted Feb 25, 2014 at Juries
An Impartial Right: Louisiana's Infringement of a Defendant's Constitutional Right to a Bench Trial Through the State's Constitutional Provision Limiting a Defendant's Right to Waive a Jury Trial Jackson T. Brown Abstract: This note argues that, implied within the Sixth... Continue reading
Posted Feb 24, 2014 at Juries
Judge Lucy Koh last week denied Samsung's motion for retrial in its patent dispute with Apple (to read earlier posts about this trial go here and here). However, in making her ruling, she did rebuke the attorneys for Apple for... Continue reading
Posted Feb 21, 2014 at Juries
Clay Conrad has a very well written op-ed on jury nullification and the legalization of marijuana. The premise of Conrad's argument is that through jury nullification citizens can informally legalize marijuana by acquitting those charged with low levels of possession.... Continue reading
Posted Feb 17, 2014 at Juries
One residual consequence of George Zimmerman's acquittal last year has been an increased public interest in jury size. As some will recall, Zimmerman was acquitted by a 6-person all female jury. Currently, several states have pending legislation that would increase... Continue reading
Posted Feb 11, 2014 at Juries
The latest edition of the Jury Expert from the American Society of Trial Consultants is now available. The ABC’s of Religiosity: Attitude, Belief, Commitment and Faith Gayle Herde writes this practical article on how you can understand the role religious... Continue reading
Posted Feb 6, 2014 at Juries
A Florida judge today held juror Dennis DeMartin in contempt of court and sentenced him to jail for at least 120 days. The contempt finding stemmed from DeMartin's misconduct during the trial of polo mogul John Goodman. Because of DeMartin's... Continue reading
Posted Jan 28, 2014 at Juries
The Chicago Tribune has an interesting editorial on jury nullification. I like the article because it discusses the difference between the jury's power to nullify and the jury's right to nullify. As of late, some are trying to convert this... Continue reading
Posted Jan 27, 2014 at Juries
Today in Smithkline Beecham Corporation v. Abbott Laboratories a three judge panel in the 9th Circuit made it clear that lawyers in their jurisdiction may no longer strike jurors because of their sexual orientation. Up to this point, the Supreme... Continue reading
Posted Jan 21, 2014 at Juries
Here is an interesting article about a juror whose online research led to a new trial for the criminal defendant. I like this article because it illustrates some very important points. Juror research is not relegated to just Digital Natives.... Continue reading
Posted Jan 20, 2014 at Juries
In this case, the judge refused to Challenge for Cause a prospective juror who had a very difficult time viewing photos of child pornography. On appeal, the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned the defendant's conviction because the trial court... Continue reading
Posted Jan 15, 2014 at Juries