Jurors as Bloggers

I'm really excited that chickenmagazine from Magic Cookie has gotten selected for a jury. (And, presumably, will blog about her experience as soon as she's allowed to.)

I've never been on a jury - and I fear that I never will be, now that I'm a pretty opinionated lawyer and everything. So, I'd like to hear some inside scoop on what really goes on in a jury room.

And I know that a few people have blogged now about their jury duty experiences, so it made me wonder - Have any of my former jurors ever blogged about any of my cases? And how would I find out? I don't think it would help to search by defendant, as most bloggers probably wouldn't identify the case by name like that. And a "jury duty" "assault" search probably wouldn't be specific enough. I could add the city name, but there's still hundreds of cases every year, so it'd be hard to figure out which is mine, right?

You know I've at least got to try it.

(Oh, and in case you're wondering, I always imagine that my jurors are in there saying things like, "She seems like such a nice young lady, her client must be innocent." "Yes, and did you see her shoes? They were great." "Did you hear that argument she made? That was wonderful, just like her suits." "I liked her hair, it was much better than the DA's.")


  1. I'm sure that's exactly what they are saying, in fact I know they are because I found a blog from a juror on one of my cases and it said exactly that about me and then it said "And that blondejustice, a friend of mine was on her jury and they said she was so kind, yet assertive and she has never represented a guilty person, ever."

  2. I wasn't too sure how much I should say about the actual case, and especially about the deliberation. Do you think it's okay to write about that stuff?

  3. (also, I just wrote some miscellaneous comments... anything specific you'd like to hear about?)

  4. I had jury duty once. It sucked. The judge was a real pompous guy. Anyhow, this kid allegedly threw something at a convenience store owner. I had reasonable doubt and wouldn't have thought the kid guilty until his lawyer had him testify. His story just seemed far fetched and it contradicted the line of questioning the lawyer used on the owner. If he had just said something simpler I would have said , "ok it's one guy's word against another" but he spun this yarn on how the guy threw him down and was attacking him with a stool and while he was on the ground his hand came across a bottle and he threw it hitting the guy.
    They took me and a lady off the jury as an alternate and locked us in a seperate room when deliberations started. I asked the other alternate what she thought and she said, "We're not allowed to talk about it." which only solidified in my mind that she was a moron who probably has left the tags on her mattress because she doesn't want to get in trouble. The kid wound up getting off. I left thinking this was a waste of my week and that the legal system was just a self perpetuating jobs program.

  5. Civil case, Illinois, Cook County, personal injury, car accident, 1 day, asked for $22000, got nothing. (Part of the suit was settled right before the trial started, so it may have started bigger.)

    Instructions said to consider (1) did defendant hit plaintiff wrongly, (2) is plaintiff injured, and (3) did 1 cause 2?

    Initially, the conversation started over how much money to award, until someone suggested that we should follow the instructions, which included that we could not award money unless we agreed that 1, 2, and 3 were true.

    Since it was stipulated that the defendant’s car rear-ended the plaintiff's car, I thought that 1 was a slam-dunk, but several other jurors thought the plaintiff might have stopped suddenly or the defendant might have swerved into the plaintiff's rear to avoid a pedestrian even though neither the defendant’s testimony nor his lawyer's argument suggested such things.

    For 2, we had the uncontroverted testimony of the plaintiff's chiropractor. We all believed the guy was injured.

    Most of the real argument was about whether the accident caused the injury. The chiropractor had said it was a sudden injury, not the result of long-term strain, but couldn't tell us much more than that. Much of the discussion revolved around ways the plaintiff's side could have proven the cause of the injury. In particular, there was only the conflicting testimony of the parties to the severity of the accident. If we had had neutral testimony to the severity of the collision, such as a cop or the body shop that repaired the car, or if we had pictures of the damage to the plaintiff's car, we might have awarded money, but I doubt it.

    Afterwards, the judge invited us to discuss our decision with him and the lawyers, as part of some ongoing attempt to give lawyers a better understanding of jurors. The judge was a little dumbfounded that some jurors doubted who caused the rear-end accident. The defendant’s lawyer told the plaintiff's lawyer that he had had success using pictures of the accident to convince a jury.

    Leaving the courthouse, I shared an elevator with the plaintiff and his lawyer, who felt the need to tell his client "Too bad you're going to have to pay all those medical bills yourself" right in front of me. I'm not very confrontational, so I didn't respond, but I wish I had told him that he had lost the very first vote 10 to 2, that most of the time was spent wearing down the holdouts, and that I was one of the holdouts.

  6. hm... luv this post :)