Author: Sam Yospe

4

Juror Misconduct: Found in their Blogs

jury.jpg

Because of the private nature of the jury room, it is unclear how often juror misconduct occurs. Except for the rare instance in which one individual juror is flagrantly out of line, it is unlikely that misconduct will surface after a verdict is reached. After all, if there is one problem juror (a racist, a manipulator, etc.) the other jurors probably won’t wait until a verdict is reached to complain to the judge.

However, as has been written about recently here and here, many jurors blog about their jury service. While accounts of deliberations in jury rooms have always been available in high profile cases (there is always at least one juror who wants to speak to the media and get his or her 15 minutes!), juror blogs give attorneys of convicted defendants a window into how the client was convicted—and more importantly, grounds upon which to appeal if any misconduct is found.

In a case discussed by Ann Reed at Deliberations , a convicted burglar appealed his conviction on the basis of juror misconduct. The source: a juror’s blog in which he referred to the defendant as “Donald the Duck” and admitted to intimidating and manipulating his fellow jurors. He wrote in his blog:

Read More

0

In Today’s Legal News

A Wisconsin state representative claims that there are too many lawyers in the state. He is seeking to eliminate all funding to University of Wisconsin Law School–the state’s only public law school–by 2010.

Separation of church and state questioned as universities in Michigan install footbaths for Muslim students

A federal judge finds that a California law that prohibits selling or renting violent video games to minors violates the First Amendment.

A legal battle begins as Disney seeks to stop Anaheim, CA from building affordable housing near Disneyland.

Mother arrested for allowing her 18-year old son and several other underage guests to drink beer at her birthday party.

1

In Today’s Legal News

The California state bar will begin to regulate unaccredited law schoools. Included amongst the regulations are the maintaining of records, payment of fees associated with oversight costs, and minimum library standards.

A Georgia sex offender who has been out of prison since 2006 now faces life in prison for failing to register with state officials. The reason: he is homeless.

A new trend: judicial performance evaluations to rate judges.

Read More

0

In Today’s Legal News

Indian law is being added to the bar in some western states.

Instructors and students at Idaho Law School offer free legal representation to illegal aliens facing deportion. A former Idaho official claims that providing such aid is a felony.

The N.J. Supreme Court has ruled in favor of a homeowners association which sought to ban residents from displaying political signs on their property.

The Houston Chronicle discusses the perception that most lawyers make six figure salaries.

Read More

0

In Today’s Legal News

Time Magazine has paid a Canadian man $96,500 for misleading him in a promotional letter. The man returned the letter, thinking that he had won a sweepstakes, but instead was subscribed to Time Magazine.

Strike Tactic: A Union hires homeless people to picket. These “temporary workers” are paid $8 an hour.

A resort at Bryce Canyon in Utah has become its own town, and will now collect $300,000 in annual sales tax revenue from tourists.

Read More

0

In Today’s Legal News

Ralph Papitto, the former chairman of the board of trustees at Roger Williams University, has asked to have his name removed from the university’s law school after he used a racial slur at a board meeting.

Defense attorneys in civil rights case lost a motion to prevent the plaintiff from mentioning President’s Bush name. The case involves a man arrested for displaying an anti-war sign at a Bush campaign event. The defense argued that Bush’s low approval ratings could prejudice the jury.

Backlogs in crime labs are leading to problems in many states, including the occasional miscarriage of justice.

Hong Kong’s Court of Final Appeals has ruled an anti-sodomy law unconstitutional.

0

In Today’s Legal News

A new study shows that salaried public defenders perform better than court appointed attorneys who bill by the hour.

It’s been ten years since the blog was born. Prominent people from journalism, business, entertainment, and more discuss what blogs mean to them.

The NY attorney general is threatening legal action against a health insurance company which is planning to rank doctors by quality of care and cost.

Read More

1

In Today’s Legal News

New Study: Look to Justice Roberts to determine outcomes in Supreme Court cases.

How not to get out of jury duty.

A NY Times op-ed discusses a way of getting around the Court’s school segregation ruling.

An online company that broadcasts cockfights has filed a First Amendment challenge against a federal law that bans depictions of animal cruelty.

The University of Florida has been sued by a Christian fraternity for not allowing it to be recognized as a student organization.

3

In Today’s Legal News

The New York Times explores the world of TV judges.

A Massachusetts man is suing the Mass. bar over a question about gay marriage after he refused to answer the question and failed the exam.

The NY Times discusses Justice Thomas’ opposition to integration and affirmative action.

What responsibility do law firms have to fix the criminal justice system in New Orleans?

The Supreme Court’s term: a (conservative) activist Court?