Well, I don't even know where to start.
I was summoned for jury duty this past Monday. I really didn't think I was going to be seated. I think I was the only one in the pool with a tie on.
Well, I was selected, and we started the trial right after seating. It was a civil trial.
The end result - mistrial
We spent the whole week there. Got the case this morning to deliberate.
Yours truly voted as foreperson.
The case involved 3 people. Two defendants, one plantiff.
Plantiff traveling north I-95 at 72 MPH. What is described as a torrential downpour occurs in front of him. He slows to 65. He can't see the white lines. Thinks he sees something happening in front of him, somebody spinning, not really sure. He decides his best course of action is to exit the road to the left into the median at 65.
He spins a 360, hits trees, spins another 360.
Claims he is stopped on the side of the road.
The two defendants are driving the same direction behind plantiff.
One defendant see plantiff go by at a high rate of speed.
Defendant #1 going 35 mph in right lane.
Defenadant #2 going 55 in right lane.
Defendant #1 spins out after felling or hitting a bump.
Defendant #2 hits the median, possibly, but not proven that defendant #2 bumps her.
Defendant #2 hits plantiff.
There are more gory details that I don't have time to type.
Of the 12 jurors, 11 of us agreed that either all defendants were negligent, or none were.
In NC you cannot award damages to a plantiff who has contributed to their own injuries.
11 of us agreed that he was going too fast for the conditions, whihc the judge instructed us was negligence in and of itself.
A sole juror held out. She had been in an accident herself, and wanted to award this guy money no matter what. Note suring jury questioning this potential juror said this would not effect her judgement, yet, her accident was the first thing she brought up when we began deliberations.
I send a note to the Judge we have been deadlocked for 5 hours.
He declares a mistrial.
I really feel like it was a waste of time, except I did learn a lot about the court system, and the psychology of some folks.
Question for you legal types:
Can I contact the attorneys in this matter and discuss my feelings with them after the case has been declared a mistrial?
You should have sent a note to the judge about the juror who swore that her previous accident would not affect her judgement in this case.
ETA- Don't send a note now, now that the matter is a mistrial. Could have mentioned the above when you sent a note to the judge saying that the jury is dead locked.
I served on a jury in NC about 6 weeks ago. We might be neighbors
I arrived on Monday morning wearing a coat and tie (not a suit though). Of the pool, only one other tie
We watch the video and sit around for a while, at 11 the judge comes and tells us to go to lunch and come back at 2. We go back and 2 and sit around untill 2:45 when they take us back to the courtroom. Then they spend untill 5:15 seating a jury. They even let a minister on it (he was the other person wearing a tie). A guy was accused of having crack with intent to distribute in Sept of 2003, so nearly 2 years ago.
They come back the next day, and the defendant entered a plea.
I go back on Wednesday at 9, sit around untill 11, and then the judge came in and said "well, I guess ya'll looked real mean because no one wanted to come stand before you. We had 45 cases scheduled for this week and everyone entered a plea. You can go home and you don't have to come back for at least 2 years." And congratulated us for being good citizens and stuff.
The thought of a jury trial was even less appealing after that.
don't get involved any further. walk away. LEJA major speaking here. don't talk to anyone about it.
I served on a jury a few years ago. I didn't wear a tie, but I was nicely dressed.
You're right, I learned a great deal about how the legal system works and how people think. I rather enjoyed it.
Added something to my previous post.
A mistrial already? WTF.
My jury was deadlocked for after 2 days of deliberation. the judge said go back in and work on it. It took us 1 more day to get a verdict for total of 3-1/2 days.
We had 2 holdouts. 1 guy kept flip flopping and the other was a chickenshit that changed his mind when he found out where the defendant lived.
1 holdout, who would not change her mind for any reason, and in fact would not even speak about the issue anymore. We spent the alst hour in silence. I kepttryig to prod the discussion, but it was going nowhere fast.
Why do you suggest I don't talk to anyone? I would really like to tell the defense attorneys that they did a great job, and but for the lack of one person who choose to interpret her own version of law, they would have prevailed.
PAGING ERIC THE HUN!!!!
Originally Posted By entropy:
I'm not certain what the law is in your state, but in the two states where I have practiced, Louisiana and Texas, there would be nothing amiss with you voluntarily talking to any of the attorneys.
Call one of them and ask if it is all right for you to discuss the case with them.
If it isn't, he or she should let you know immediately.
Thanks ETH, you da man!!! (paged)