Summer is here and everyone is feeling excited about fair cross-section claims. Or at least I am after hearing an enlightening presentation about them, described below.
Courts around the country have struggled to address inappropriate cell phone usage by jurors. Some judges have used their contempt powers to deal with the issue. In Oregon, a judge held a juror in contempt for texting during a trial, and the juror spent a night in jail as a result. In Florida, a judge cited a juror for contempt for using Facebook during trial. And now, the issue has cropped up here in North Carolina. Last week, Superior Court Judge Milton “Toby” Fitch held a juror in a civil case in contempt for using his cell phone to take notes about the trial, and sentenced the juror to 30 days in jail. The Wilson Times has the story here. The News and Observer has an AP story with some additional details here.
We’ve already covered lawyer attire on the blog. In fact, that post is one of the most popular we’ve ever had. A recent story has brought juror attire to the fore. According to the Wall Street Journal Law Blog, a federal court in Florida sent two prospective jurors home for violating the court’s dress code. … Read more
I was asked recently whether a juror can be removed for refusing to deliberate. The case in which the issue arose has concluded, a federal circuit court just weighed in on the issue, and I thought that others might be interested in the law in this area, hence this post. There’s no North Carolina case … Read more
I was reading the News and Observer this morning over breakfast and saw this story about jury selection in a Wake County murder case. The thrust of the story will not surprise anyone who has ever tried a lengthy case: At a time when many families are feeling pinched by the recession, prosecutors and defense … Read more
The Court of Appeals released a number of opinions yesterday. Bob Farb will undoubtedly release his inimitable summaries shortly — to sign up to receive the summaries by email, go here — but I wanted to call attention to one case right away, as it should be of interest to officers, prosecutors, and defense lawyers … Read more