Saturday, August 11, 2007

Fourth Circuit reverses sanctions against counsel for post-trial peek at jurors' notes

Brian Peterson links here to the opinion from the Fourth Circuit in the Thomas case, a per curiam decision from the panel of Judges Widener, Michael, and Traxler, with Judge Widener not participating. has this article on the case.

There is no formal local rule in the W.D. Va. which is the equivalent of N.D. W.Va. Rule 47.01, although Chief Judge Jones and perhaps others have been inserting similar provisions in their orders, as stated in Chief Judge Jones' practices and procedures.

Some years before this practice came to be, I had this experience.

Concurring Opinions has this interesting post on jurors who blog about their experiences. It concludes: "Of the jurors who blog, surely the vast majority don't admit misconduct, as the juror did in the robbery case. In the rare cases in which blog entries indicate that there was potential misconduct (such as the juror who admitted to "conscious manipulaiton"), it is certainly the right and responsibility of defense attorneys to appeal the verdict. In fact, I believe that searching for blogs and internet postings of all jurors will soon be an automatic response to losing a case. It won't be long before this practice is completely ordinary, if not a requirement of being a zealous advocate."

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