Jur-E Bulletin: January 5, 2018


Helping Jurors Succeed

The New Jersey Law Journal published an article on December 18, 2017 titled Helping Jurors Succeed. The article was written by Jefferey M. Pollock who is an attorney that specializes in complex litigation and appellate practice. One of the points that he makes is that the jury instructions that are currently in use are just too complex for jurors to fully comprehend. He also notes that jurors often struggle to make reasonable calculations of monetary awards. He offers a series of suggestions to improve these situations. This is a well-written article that is worth reading. 

Dallas, Texas Public Outreach

The Dallas Morning News on December 31, 2017 published a well-written public outreach piece on jury service.  It covers recent improvements to the local jury system, the importance of jury duty and practical information like what people should wear.  This is a well written article and courts should encourage their local media to run similar pieces.    

Juror Stress Research Paper

Kaitlyn R. Zander, a student at the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse, recently released a research paper online titled Proposal for a Wisconsin Court System Counseling Program for Jurors Subject to Detrimental Stress. The paper does a good job addressing the issues surrounding juror-counseling programs, and it has a very comprehensive list of resources. The abstract to the article states:

This study addresses ameliorating juror stress resulting from exposure to graphic evidence from high profile and violent crimes. Research has shown that the impacted jurors experience physical and/or psychological symptoms that negatively affect their well-being. Although most jurors undergo minimal stressors, some are unable to effectively deal with the information from the trial, thus benefiting from third party counseling services. There are a variety of existing programs used by courts in states other than Wisconsin that have been successful. An analysis of these current programs has concluded that utilization of the Employee Assistance Program would be most beneficial for these jurors in Wisconsin.

Request for State Court Jury Plans

A regular reader would like to see jury plans used by other state courts. These may be in the form of administrative orders. They may cover the operational requirements for a jury manager from developing the master list, the procedures for managing excusal requests through to the confidentiality requirements for juror information. She is aware of the jury plans used by federal courts but would like to see what state courts have developed. Please email state court jury plans to Holly Swafford at Holly.Swafford@iowacourts.gov.   

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January 5, 2018

Jur-E Bulletin is a publication of the Center for Jury Studies.

Editor: Greg Hurley

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