Sunday, March 06, 2005
The Volokh Conspiracy has a post that points out some interesting motions in the widely reported Ford roll-over lawsuit that resulted in a $28 million dollar judgment for the plaintiffs. It turns out that one of the jurors was a girlfriend of one of plaintiffs' attorneys! This is shocking indeed. The judge refused to grant a mistrial, but did remove her from the jury. So she was not part of the jury that rendered the verdict. But who knows how much damage she had already done in comments to other jurors?

The Volokh Conspiracy asks whether it would violate any professional rule of conduct not to mention this to the judge. I am not sure on that question. But I do know, since I served as a juror during law school, that the first question we got asked (and I assume pretty much every juror gets asked) is whether they know any of the parties or attorneys. Assuming this was asked to the juror (which I think is a fairly safe assumption) she had to have lied.

It also turns out that this juror had solicited two of the plaintiffs in this case for her boyfriend to represent (I am pretty sure having a third-party solicit business for you does violate the rules of professional conduct in most jurisdictions).

I hope this verdict gets reversed, and then in the new trial defendants prevail. That way the plaintiffs can sue their attorney for $28 million in malpractice. Poetic justice at its best.
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I am an attorney in Chicago. Politically speaking, I am an indepedent that tends to lean conservative on fiscal issues and progressive on social issues. I try to remain as unbiased and open-minded as possible. Please email or post any comments, and especially criticisms. If something I say is wrong, or you disagree - let me know about it!



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