Some Initial Thoughts On The Jury System

My experience as a juror was traumatic. Not because the seats in the jury box must have been designed by a cabal of chiropractors to maximize business; not because it took two weeks of my life; and not because most of the subject matter was drop-dead boring.

It was traumatic because during deliberations, roughly half of my fellow jurors simply ignored the evidence and the instructions. And it's not because I disagreed with the result that we arrived at. I simply disagreed with the disdainful, prejudicial manner that some of the other jurors had.

I pray that I never have my fate or the fate of someone I care about decided by such a group. I don't have any proof, for example, that some of those who refused to deliberate in good faith were simply trying to get home after two long weeks, but I got it straight from the horse's mouth from some of them that they simply "didn't like" the plaintiff or thought that because he didn't do absolutely everything perfectly that he deserved no reward--nothing that had anything to do with the law or the facts.

The case deserved a defense verdict, in my opinion, but not because the of the smear on the plaintiff by the defense, not because there are "frivolous" lawsuits out there and we should punish the system (there was enough juice in this one on day one to leave any notion of frivolous far behind), or anything else that was irrelevant to the events in question.

As a defense attorney, I have to feel emboldened. As a citizen, I have to be scared.