Thursday, March 26, 2009

Law Prof’s Article on His Jury Experience Leads to Overturned Verdict

This article from the ABA Law Journal describes how an academic article by a law professor about his own experience as a jury foreman led to a reversal of a verdict in New Jersey (ordering a new trial due to juror misconduct). Finally, we have an example of published legal scholarship having a concrete effect on a real-world case. :-) From the article:

A New Jersey appeals court ruled today that the defendant deserved a new trial, in part because the professor’s explanation of legal concepts to his fellow jurors had a tendency to influence the verdict . . . The influence issue came to light after Seton Hall law professor Robert Martin wrote a December 2006 article for the New Jersey Law Journal reflecting on his experiences as foreman of the jury. Martin wrote that he was surprised that none of the lawyers used peremptory challenges to exclude him, even though he was a law professor, practicing lawyer and New Jersey state senator. . . In the article, published in December 2006, Martin wrote that other jurors were relying on him to deal with abstract legal concepts.

This appears to have been flagged first by the Legal Profession Blog