Publications

Articles on Juries

Instructional error in jury selection can constitute plain error

August
2017
Illinois Law Update
Page 18
Defendant was convicted for resisting a peace officer and sentenced to two years' imprisonment following a jury trial.

Illinois Supreme Court overturns six-person-jury statute

By Matthew Hector
November
2016
LawPulse
Page 12
The high court ruled that the Illinois Constitution guarantees the right to a 12-person jury.

Parties may no longer demand a jury of 12

May
2015
Illinois Law Update
Page 16
The Code of Civil Procedure has been amended to restrict the number of jurors a party can demand in a civil jury trial.

Is the switch to six-person juries constitutional?

By Matthew Hector
March
2015
LawPulse
Page 14
The challenge of choosing a six-person panel may make you rethink your jury-selection strategy. But some lawyers are asking whether the change in jury size violates the Illinois Constitution.

Grand juries in the spotlight

By Matthew Hector
February
2015
LawPulse
Page 12
The shooting death of Michael Brown drew attention to the usually secret world of grand jury proceedings. Illinois lawyers talk about how the process works across the river from Ferguson.

Jury demand in original complaint transfers to third-party claims assigned to the original plaintiff

November
2014
Illinois Law Update
Page 524
On August 18, 2014, the Second District Appellate Court of Illinois held that a plaintiff's original jury demand covered a third-party claim against an insurer that had been assigned to the plaintiff as part of a settlement agreement.

Juries in the Age of Voir Google

By Hon. Ron Spears
August
2014
Column
Page 402
Lawyers are using Internet to research prospective jurors.

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

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?

Pages

Select a Different Subject