Publications

Illinois Bar Journal
Articles on Juries

Discourage juror tweets through admonishment, not punishment By Janan Hanna July 2014 Lawpulse, Page 314 Authors of a Chicago-based study of jury behavior conclude that jurors actually listen to instructions from judges not to communicate about the case.
Researching Jurors Online: Voir Dire in the Digital Age By Hon. Raymond Rossi October 2013 Article, Page 514 The why and how of researching prospective jurors online.
No double jeopardy though jurors were sworn, high court rules By Adam W. Lasker June 2013 Lawpulse, Page 278 The Illinois Supreme Court ruled in Martinez that, even though the jury was already empanelled, the defendant was not in jeopardy because the state stood silently by and presented no evidence.
Dinosaurs and Jury Trials: Adaptation or Extinction? By Hon. Ron Spears May 2013 Column, Page 264 Trial by jury remains a key underpinning of our justice system.
The Too-Expansive Illinois General Verdict Rule By J. Timothy Eaton, Michael W. Rathsack, and Michael T. Reagan March 2013 Article, Page 142 More and more Illinois courts are upholding general verdicts if there is any error-free basis for doing so. They should do the opposite, these authors say.
Jurors may question witnesses under new supreme court rule By Adam W. Lasker June 2012 Lawpulse, Page 286 Starting next month, jurors will be permitted to submit written questions for witnesses to the court for consideration. Proponents say it will help jurors understand the case and stay engaged.
Prospective jurors who are excused because of a permanent disability may never serve as a juror. PA 097-0436. November 2011 Illinois Law Update, Page 556 The Jury Act and the Jury Commission Act have been amended to prohibit persons who have been excused from jury duty due to a total and permanent disability from ever serving as a juror again. (705 ILCS 305/10.4, 10.5 new).
Supreme court: IPI instruction misstates med-mal standard of care By Helen W. Gunnarsson September 2011 Lawpulse, Page 434 An Illinois Pattern Jury Instruction doesn't state the correct standard for determining whether a physician's conduct was reasonable in a med-mal case, the Illinois Supreme Court ruled.
2011 Spring Session Legislative Roundup By Jim Covington August 2011 Column, Page 392 A summary of key legislation from this year's session.
Correspondence from Our Readers July 2011 Column, Page 326 Righties and lefties; let jurors ask questions.
Loose-Lipped Jurors in the Facebook Age: What Courts Can Do About Unauthorized Electronic Communication By Jasmine Villaflor Hernandez and Jessica LeeAnn Cummings July 2011 Article, Page 344 Inappropriate posting, texting, and tweeting by jurors can wreak havoc with the trial process.
Juror Questions During Trial: An Idea Whose Time Has Come Again By Stephen R. Kaufmann and Michael P. Murphy June 2011 Article, Page 294 Allowing jurors to ask questions during trial would keep the jury engaged and give lawyers a chance to refine their cases in response to juror queries, the authors argue.
Batson Objections to Peremptory Challenges: Don’t Sidestep the Three-Step Procedure By John M. Broderick April 2011 Article, Page 198 A party making a Batson objection to an opponent's peremptory challenge should have to show that removing the would-be juror amounts to purposeful racial discrimination, the author argues.
Exposing Immigration Bias During Voir Dire By David Holland and Gil Lenz February 2011 Article, Page 82 Courts should allow questioning of prospective jurors on immigration-related bias, the authors say. They also suggest questions that can expose immigrant bias during jury selection.
See comments from our readers July 2010 Column, Page 338 Jury-service article "spot-on"
Juror Number 10, Attorney at Law By Phillip H. Hamilton June 2010 Article, Page 296 An ISBA member explains how his jury service changed - forever - his perspective on trial practice.
Jury trial tips By Helen W. Gunnarsson April 2010 Lawpulse, Page 174 A veteran trial judge offers tips from the trenches for rookie litigators
Looking for “facts” in all the Wrong Places By Hon. Ron Spears February 2010 Column, Page 102 Social networking sites are great - unless jurors are using them in ways that threaten a fair trial.
Voir Dire in Criminal Cases - Rule 431(b) Guidance for Lawyers and Judges By Geoffrey Burkhart February 2010 Article, Page 86 A supreme court rule requires judges to ask potential jurors whether they understand and accept four fundamental principles of criminal law. But following the rule is easier said than done.
Attacking the Quotient Verdict By Melissa A. Murphy-Petros and Daniel E. Tranen August 2009 Article, Page 416 In a quotient verdict, jurors decide liability or damages by mathematically averaging instead of deliberating. Here s how to prevent and attack them.
Making evidence meaningful By Helen W. Gunnarsson June 2009 Lawpulse, Page 278 A veteran lawyer and trial judge tells litigators how to present evidence in a way that engages and wins over jurors.
Objections During Voir Dire Examination of Prospective Jurors By Marc B. Stahl January 2009 Article, Page 42 The Illinois legal community lacks a set of commonly understood, shorthand objections to identify improper questions during voir dire examination of prospective jurors.
Asked and Answered December 2008 Column, Page 635 How big should your jury be?
Lessons from Jury Research By Sara Parikh and Terrence Lavin April 2008 Article, Page 190 Experience with mock juries challenges conventional wisdom about how jurors react to expert testimony and attorney performance.
Voir Dire: New Research Challenges Old Assumptions By Frank P. Andreano September 2007 Article, Page 474 Research shows that juror attitudes toward hot-button issues like tort reform are better predictors of bias than demographic factors.
A trio of Illinois Supreme Court Rule amendments By Helen W. Gunnarsson May 2007 Lawpulse, Page 230 The court amended rules governing the format of appellate briefs, appeals from circuit court rulings, and voir dire examinations in criminal cases.
Jury trials for divorce? By Helen W. Gunnarsson March 2007 Lawpulse, Page 118 An Illinois bill would bring jury trials back to contested divorce. The ISBA Family Law Section Council thinks that's a bad idea.
Opening Statements: Soup for the Jury’s Soul By Hon. Ron Spears February 2007 Column, Page 102 A good opening statement will shape jurors' perception of the case.
Reforming the Civil Jury System in Illinois: The 2006 Allerton Conference By Jeffrey A. Parness November 2006 Article, Page 608 Should jurors be given instructions at the start of civil trials? Should they be more free to ask questions? Find out what the Allerton conferees think.
Correspondence from Our Readers August 2006 Column, Page 394 Nothing beats voir dire for learning about jurors; What is a rule of thumb?