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 Jury duty
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Male Moderator
1484 Posts

Evanston, IL



Posted - 02/05/2014 :  3:35 PM                       Like
I had jury duty today and for the second time in the three trips where I actually reached the voir dire stage, the case involved a motorcycle. The first was criminal case of a rider with passenger who was well over the legal limit according to a breath test. The one today was a rider who was involved in a crash with a car and was injured and suing. He was riding a non street legal dirt bike. I was struck by the following.

Lawyers look for jurors who have no clue about good and bad practices. One case was dominated by questions to the jurors if they thought it was ever okay to drive buzzed. The other case posed the question of whether we would hold it against a rider who was illegally riding an unregistered bike on the street. In both cases, I was dismissed without being asked those questions. The lawyers didn't want anyone else to hear my position.

Male Standard Member
136 Posts

Toronto, Ontario



Posted - 02/05/2014 :  5:45 PM
There are two things you don't want to see being made: Sausages and Laws.

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Male Moderator
2083 Posts



Shadow Spirit 750DC

Posted - 02/05/2014 :  8:48 PM
The lawyers didn't want anyone else to hear my position.
A few months ago I went through a voir dire for a criminal case. I too was not asked any follow up questions after giving the required brief history of myself. Perhaps I did not use enough mouthwash.

I was glad I was not selected. They had estimated the trial length to be 7-10 weeks. I had tried getting excused because of that estimate and the total conversation was

Me "I can't be out from work that long".
Judge "Will your employer pay you".
Me "Yes".
Judge "Go sit back down".

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Male Senior Member
281 Posts

The Woodlands, TX



Posted - 02/06/2014 :  12:09 PM Follow poster on Twitter
I've been selected to a jury only once out of the times I've been called and not exempted by volunteer EMS service.

That case involved an MVA where the physical/medical damages had already been settled by the defendant's insurance. The plaintiff was suing for continuing physical disability/mental anguish, loss of wages and emotional damage to their children...to the tune of $750,000!!!

The Reader's Digest version of 9 days in court....

The (morbidly obese) Plaintiff was claiming, over an 18 month period, continued physical/emotional disability & suicidal tendencies. Also was not able to begin a new job w/higher wages that she was hired for the day before the accident. Husband took time off work to attend doctor's appointments with her, etc., ad nauseum. Also, during testimony, it came out that her teenaged son had been arrested and charged with molesting their 4 year old daughter. The claim was that the molestation happened as a result of her "being a bad mother due to injuries sustained in the accident" (she was not at fault for the MVA in question).

At the end, it was decided by the jury that recovery from her injuries would take approx 6 weeks and the new job was irrelevant to the case at hand. She was awarded the difference in her normal pay (from the job she had immediately prior to the MVA) and her disability pay. Her husband was compensated for any time he took off in those first 6 weeks (approx 42 hours). The total settlement came to just over $5000. The rest of the claim was denied and the judge ordered her lawyer that he could only charge 1/3 of the award instead of his customary 50%. The plaintiff was also ordered to pay all court costs.

What struck me as odd is that we were never asked about medical or legal background. I have both, having been a police officer and an EMT. I am also well versed in Workman's Comp laws as a by-product of my profession. I think I may have had some influence on the final outcome. After the case was over, the judge came into the jury room and thanked us for serving and asked how we came up with the award. When we told him, he asked who figured that out and all fingers pointed at me...the judge shook my hand and said "Good job. I would have calculated it exactly the same way."

It was pretty much a consensus among the entire jury that this case was an attempt to build a psychological defense for the son's criminal molestation trial which was scheduled for a few months later. The judge could not comment on that particular aspect of our thinking.

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Male Moderator
1484 Posts

Evanston, IL



Posted - 02/06/2014 :  12:40 PM
Medical and legal background was the first thing the judge asked. The gist of the question included criminal cases being different from civil cases and both being different from workman's comp cases. I raised my hand due to my MSF instructor training including traffic law. The plaintiff's lawyer dismissed anyone who ever knew a rider. I had a nice conversation with the judge about my one crash with injury I listed on my background form including mentioning it was the only one I ever had and had 325,000 miles of experience before it happened. I figured I was going home early.
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Male Advanced Member
775 Posts

Calera, AL


Bandit 1250

Posted - 02/07/2014 :  10:13 AM
Amazing. Lawyers pick and choose jurors that have no intelligence that may apply to a particular case. Those same lawyers spend thousands of dollars hiring experts that agree with their arguments.

I would love to see a jury member stand up and tell the court that a particular argument is based on Bovine Scatology. Would that not be much more efficient?

I guess a juror is supposed to be a disinterested party. I would love to see a system where the loser in a civil complaint pays all costs of a wrongly accused defendant. I envision court dockets clearing in huge numbers.
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