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Thaddeus Hoffmeister
Professor
Recent Activity
Additional briefs for Warger v. Shauers, which will be argued before the U.S. Supreme Court this term, can be found below. The issue in Shauers is as follows: Does Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) permit a party moving for a... Continue reading
Posted yesterday at Juries
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The article below (Massachusetts Courts Streamline Jury Duty Selection Process) highlights the recent improvements made to the Massachusetts jury selection process. Of particular interest is the fact these reform efforts have dramatically improved juror utilization rates in the state. The... Continue reading
Posted 2 days ago at Juries
In Montgomery County, Texas prosecutors are challenging an order of a trial judge to release the home addresses of jurors. Defense counsel requested this information in order to prove that African Americans are underrepresented on Montgomery County juries. Prosecutors have... Continue reading
Posted 3 days ago at Juries
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All Together Now: Using Principles of Group Dynamics to Train Better Jurors Sarah Gordon Abstract: We ask juries to make important decisions that have a profound impact on people’s lives. We leave these decisions in the hands of groups of... Continue reading
Posted 4 days ago at Juries
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NV SCT Chief Justice Mark Gibbons Earlier this week, this blog reported on the Nevada Supreme Court Chief Justice Mark Gibbons who was selected to serve as a juror on a criminal trial. The Chief Justice was selected as the... Continue reading
Posted 5 days ago at Juries
The article below, part of a series, highlights some of the flaws with grand juries in Houston. The article is a must read if for nothing else the author quotes G. K. Chesterton. Houston Chronicle: Does 'pick-a-pal' system give you... Continue reading
Posted 6 days ago at Juries
Las Vegas Review Journal: Nevada Supreme Court justice picked for jury This either speaks volumes about the criminal defense attorney or the chief justice. Continue reading
Posted 7 days ago at Juries
Starting August 1st, individuals who file retaliation or discrimination claims pursuant to the Minnesota Human Rights Act (MHRA) can now request a jury trial. The MHRA prohibits discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, public services, and education. The right to... Continue reading
Posted Aug 12, 2014 at Juries
Here is an interesting article that examines how attorneys increasingly use social media to investigate jurors. Law Journal: Lawyers Tap Social Media in Jury Selection Process Continue reading
Posted Aug 11, 2014 at Juries
A homicide trial in Australia has been derailed after it was discovered that a juror conducted Facebook searches on both the victim and criminal defendant. Pursuant to the law in Queensland, this juror now faces criminal charges that come with... Continue reading
Posted Aug 8, 2014 at Juries
Giovanna Shay Abstract: This is the first law review article to examine transcripts, court filings, and published opinions about jury voir dire on attitudes toward same-sex sexuality and LGBT issues. It demonstrates that jurors express a range of homonegative attitudes.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 7, 2014 at Juries
A news outlet in Nashville is reporting that a juror allegedly friended and communicated with a criminal defendant during trial. Unfortunately for the defendant, being a Facebook Friend with the juror did not prevent the jury from finding him guilty... Continue reading
Posted Aug 6, 2014 at Juries
William Ortman Abstract: Chevron U.S.A., Inc. v. Natural Resources Defense Council, Inc. rests on two now-familiar premises. First, for some statutes, the traditional tools of statutory interpretation more readily yield a range of plausible meanings than a single correct reading.... Continue reading
Posted Aug 5, 2014 at Juries
Last week the California Supreme Court in People v. Hensley overturned a criminal defendant's capital sentence because a juror consulted with his pastor during deliberations. The case has been remanded for retrial of the penalty phase and re-sentencing on all... Continue reading
Posted Aug 4, 2014 at Juries
This week the Federal Judiciary Center issued a report on (1) juror use of social media to communicate during trials and deliberations; and (2) attorney use of social media to conduct research on potential jurors during voir dire. This 2014... Continue reading
Posted Aug 1, 2014 at Juries
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Kenneth S. Klein Abstract: The literature on the American jury rarely considers the experience of other nations as relevant case studies. This Article describes how the now over 200-year debate in the United States over the proper role and form... Continue reading
Posted Jul 31, 2014 at Juries
According to the Seattle Weekly article below, public defenders in Seattle will start filing jury declarations. These declarations will document the racial makeup of each group of jury pools during trial proceedings at King County Superior Court. These declarations will... Continue reading
Posted Jul 30, 2014 at Juries
Leona Deborah Jochnowitz Abstract: This study compares two Missouri capital cases where evidence of the defendants' personality disorder and childhood abuse history were predominant themes at trial, in order to assess the jurors' receptivity to mental mitigating evidence. The cases... Continue reading
Posted Jul 29, 2014 at Juries
Ever wonder what happens when a polled juror disagrees with the verdict in open court? Well, according to the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals in U.S. v. McDonald, the trial judge just has to tell the jurors to continue to... Continue reading
Posted Jul 28, 2014 at Juries
John E. Campbell Bernard Chao Christopher T. Robertson David V. Yokum Countering the Plaintiff's Anchor: Jury Simulations to Evaluate Damages Arguments Abstract: Numerous studies have shown that anchoring can have a strong effect on juries. For scholars and policymakers, this... Continue reading
Posted Jul 24, 2014 at Juries
Long time readers of this blog know that I have am an advocate of allowing juror questions (for previous posts about juror questions go here and here). Well, it looks like the topic is once again in the news. The... Continue reading
Posted Jul 23, 2014 at Juries
The Tampa Tribune has an interesting article highlighting the efforts by some defense attorneys to make their clients more presentable to jurors. As the article points out, attractive defendants are less likely to be convicted than unattractive defendants. In certain... Continue reading
Posted Jul 21, 2014 at Juries
Currently, Massachusetts is considering whether or not to change the way it conducts voir dire. At present, Massachusetts uses judge conducted voir dire. However, the Massachusetts House has passed legislation (H. 4123) to allow attorneys to conduct voir dire. The... Continue reading
Posted Jul 17, 2014 at Juries
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Deliberative Democracy and the American Civil Jury Valerie Hans John Gastil Traci Feller Abstract: Civil jury service should be a potent form of deliberative democracy, creating greater civic engagement. However, a 2010 seven-state study of jury service and voting records... Continue reading
Posted Jul 16, 2014 at Juries
In Rogers v. Bromac Title Services, a three judge panel from the 5th Circuit upheld the trial judge's decision to dismiss the plaintiff's wrongful termination claim pursuant to the Jury System Improvement Act ("JSIA"), 28 USC 1875. In this case,... Continue reading
Posted Jul 14, 2014 at Juries