ADVERTISEMENT



Google       

Home -> Law Blog Directory -> Litigation Blogs -> The Florida Jury Selection Blog

OR PHONE (866) 635-1838 for Bankruptcy Help, (866) 635-6190 for Divorce,
(866) 635-2689 for Personal Injury or (866) 635-9402 for Criminal Defense

Find a Local Lawyer

Bankruptcy (866) 635-1838
Divorce (866) 635-6190
Personal Injury (866) 635-2689
Criminal Defense (866) 635-9402

Bookmark

Litigation

: The Florida Jury Selection Blog

“A Clear, Direct Question”

By Robert W. Kelley, Esq.

ADVERTISEMENTS

A jury in Miami awarded $3.9 million to the mother ofa youngwoman who was killed by a drunk driver. After the verdict, theState Farmdefense attorneys found out for the first time thatthejury foreman’s fatherhad beenan alcoholic.They asked for a new trial alleging that the foreman had concealed this important information from them duringjury selection. The trial court denied the request, and the appellate court affirmed the verdictholding thata key requirement to establishing prejudicial concealment of information by a juror duringvoir direis a “clear, direct question” requiring a response by the venire member. “No such question was posed here.” So the verdict wasupheld. Hood v. Valle, 33 FLW D235a (Fla 3rd DCA 1/16/08).

But it’s not that simple. In Hood, two panels of jurors were questioned separately during voir dire. Apparently, the first panelwas seatedin the courtroom while the second panel was being questioned. And although there were questions asked of the second panelconcerning family members with substance abuse problems — to which two members of that panel responded that their fathers had been alcoholics — no such question had been asked of the first panelfrom which the forepersonultimately emerged. The first panel had earlier been asked generalquestions concerning whether “anything about drinking” might affect their consideration of the case,or whether they had any “strong feelings about people who drink?” But, as noted by the Court, theyhad never beenasked the“clear, direct question” whether they had a parent who was or had been an alcoholic.

As a result of the inadequate questioning, the appellate courtconcluded that thefirst panel (sitting separately) had no reason to believe that they were to participate in the questioning of the second panel, or that they had some duty to supplement their own previous answers in response to later questioning. “No member of the first panel, including the subject juror, responded to questions addressed to the second panel.” Accordingly, the Court did not find any indication that the juror in question concealed information during the questioning, and therefore the jury’s verdict was affirmed.

Full post as published by The Florida Jury Selection Blog on January 17, 2008 (boomark / email).

Bloggers, promote your law blog by nominating your blog for inclusion in USLaw.com's Law Blog Directory and RSS Reader. Benefits described.
Related Law Blog Posts
Search Blog Directory:

Search Blog Directory:

Lawsuits and Settlements

Related Searches

























































































































US Law
#1 Online Legal Resource













Your Blog Subscriptions
Subscribe to blogs

10,000+ Law Job Listings
Lawyer . Police . Paralegal . Etc
Earn a law-related degree
Are you the author of this blog? Adding USLaw.com to your Blogroll increases relevance. You qualify to display a USLaw Network badge.
Suggest changes to this blog's description or nominate another for inclusion. Register for updates.


Practice Area
Zip Code:

Contact a Lawyer Now!






1.0719 secs (new cache)