Oct 7

final-jur-e headline

Federal Continuing Resolution Contains Millions for Jury Trials

Sec. 130 of the recently adopted Continuing Resolution to fund the federal government at current FY 2022 spending levels through December 16, 2022, provides $59.5 million to federal courts for juror fees and expenses due to juries returning to near pre-pandemic levels.

Prospective Juror Is Judge’s Stepdaughter + Another Has a Lawyer in Plaintiff Counsel’s Law Firm – Neither Struck for Cause

The Montana Supreme Court in Thermal Design, Inc. v. Duffy found no error in these venire members joining the trial jury. With respect to the stepdaughter, appellant’s counsel did not make a motion to strike for cause, claiming on appeal that the judge’s quick directive to “move on” from questioning discouraged such a motion. However, the high court ruled, “Without an objection, or at least some evidence of partiality in the record, we conclude the District Court did not abuse its discretion by limiting voir dire regarding the trial judge's familial relationship with a prospective juror, and Appellants have waived any argument that the District Court unfairly forced them to use a peremptory challenge by not objecting below.” Regarding the juror whose “current” lawyer was plaintiff counsel’s former law partner, the trial court denied a motion to strike for cause because the juror stated that circumstance would not affect his ability to be impartial.

Wisconsin Christmas Parade Murder Trial Creates More Headaches for Trial Judge

Last week the Jur-E Bulletin reported on preparations for the jury trial of Darrell Brooks in Milwaukee. Jury selection got underway this week. And it is looking like the trial judge’s decision to allow the defendant to represent himself is causing much turmoil. The chaos there is being noted across the Atlantic Ocean. The UK’s Daily Mail reports that on the first day of voir dire, Brooks verbally interrupted the proceedings so many times that the judge had to remand him to a neighboring room equipped with remote communications. On day two, Brooks read from the Bible and screamed claims that he was a “sovereign.” Jury selection has been paused. The prosecutors are reportedly researching caselaw regarding when a party can be gagged during a trial.

Trial of Ex-State Trooper and Others Aborted After Three Jurors Disqualified on Day After Voir Dire Ends

According to the Times-Tribune ($) in Scranton, Pennsylvania, a jury this week was to begin hearing evidence of gambling and prostitution violations against an ex-trooper and others who ran the Sinners Swing Gentleman’s Club. However, after being selected for the jury, two of the jurors came to court on the next day to say each knew one of the defendants. Neither disclosed this during jury selection, when attorneys faced 75 potential jurors and asked if they knew anyone involved in the trial. It’s not clear why they did not disclose the information during jury selection. A third juror tested positive for COVID-19. A new trial date has not been set. Here's a link to the story on Yahoo! News.