Jury Misconduct and the Adverse Affect it has on Personal Injury Cases

Video Transcription:
I saw an article in the paper recently that reminded me of something I think is interesting about trying a case in front of a jury. A jury can have an adverse impact on your case beyond simply disagreeing with you about the facts and maybe finding things against you.

In this particular situation, there was a trial in Tampa and it was a murder trial, and a couple of the jurors were searching the Internet for information about some issue in the case. Judges remind jurors everyday, multiple times not to use the Internet when they're sitting on a jury because you can't have outside information affecting the jury's decision. The result of these two jurors looking on the Internet was a mistrial. This meant the case was over for that period of time and they could have been trying the case for a day, two days, three days or even a week. It's over and now you have to start again.

We had a case tried last year in Clearwater in which two of the jurors were passing notes to one another about the witness testimony going on in the trial. When the judge found out about it, he questioned the jurors and declared a mistrial which meant we were in the second or third day of the trial at the time and we had to start over again. We had to reschedule it for another trial docket two or three months later and begin again.

In another situation that was in one of the reporting cases, jurors are asked specific information about their background and one of the questions was have you ever been involved in an injury or personal injury lawsuit. This particular juror said no. When they researched the juror after the trial, they found that the juror had or a family member had and it was not revealed by the juror at the time. The result of all of that was a mistrial was declared in that case as well.

So, the things that jurors do can have a dramatic impact on your trial and your ability to get your case tried successfully. There is no reason not to file your case but you need to go into the process with an understanding attitude.

Jim Dodson
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A Florida injury lawyer, family man and avid cyclist who clients have trusted for over 25 years.