Publications

Articles on Juries

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?

Background checks for jurors?

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
June
2006
LawPulse
Page 278
A federal judge and some state's attorneys offer their varying viewpoints about how far to go to determine whether prospective jurors are coming clean. 

Confronting Judge-Imposed Time Limits on Voir Dire

By Rodney R. Nordstrom
March
2006
Article
Page 142
Here's how to make the most of the time you've granted for voir dire, no matter how limited.

Thinking Outside the Roasting Pan About Peremptories

By Hon. Ron Spears
November
2005
Column
Page 594
Are you relying on stereotypes about jury behavior when you exercise peremptory challenges?

Check the Web before drafting jury instructions

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
October
2005
LawPulse
Page 498
The chair of the supreme court's jury instructions committee advises litigators to check the court's website for revised IPI instructions.

A jury’s determination of first degree murder and a trial court’s imposed sentence are accorded great deference

September
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 446
On June 30, 2005, the Illinois Appellate Court, First District, affirmed the defendant's murder conviction, which he received following a jury trial in the Circuit Court of Cook County.

Jury Deselection

By Hon. Ron Spears
August
2005
Column
Page 420
You don't pick who serves on your jury – you pick who doesn't.

Giving Jurors What They Want

By Hon. Ron Spears
May
2005
Column
Page 260
Jurors want to do a good job. Let's help them.

New IPI instructions are free on the Web

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
April
2005
LawPulse
Page 162
Sign up with the supreme court to get notice every time a new IPI instruction is made available.

Trial court did not abuse its discretion in ordering defendant to walk in front of the jury to demonstrate a possible limp

January
2005
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On November 12, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Fourth District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of Champaign County, which required the defendant to walk in front of the jury to show whether he had a limp when he walked. 

Breach of fiduciary duty is an equitable action for which no constitutional right to a jury trial exists

October
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 514
On July 8, 2004, the Illinois Appellate Court, Second District, affirmed the decision of the Circuit Court of DuPage County to strike a defendant-beneficiary's demand for a jury trial.

Trial courts have no obligation to sua sponte issue an involuntary manslaughter instruction

February
2004
Illinois Law Update
Page 70
On November 20, 2003, the Illinois Supreme Court reversed the judgment of the appellate court that found that the trial court had abused its discretion when it failed to sua sponteissue an involuntary manslaughter instruction to the jury. 

Jury instruction revisions now on the Web

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
December
2003
LawPulse
Page 594
You'll find revisions to IPI instructions on the supreme court's Web site before they appear in hard copy.

How to Find Jury Instructions

By Phill Johnson
July
2003
Column
Page 361
Jury instructions aren't hard to find in print, but you'll have less luck searching online.

Small juries are beautiful

By Helen W. Gunnarsson
March
2003
LawPulse
Page 110
Six-person juries are easier to pick, more responsive to case themes, and more likely to reach a unanimous verdict, some criminal defense lawyers say.

Child abduction statute and jury instructions did not require jury to consider mother’s knowledge of child’s whereabouts in determining father’s guilt; trial court did not abuse discretion in not providing jury with common definition of word “concealed”

January
2003
Illinois Law Update
Page 14
On October 22, 2002, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, affirmed the order of the circuit court of Cook County convicting the defendant of child abduction.

Painting a Picture for the Jury: A Juror’s Perspective

By Shelley Rice Weinberg
August
2002
Column
Page 427
Like most lawyers called to jury duty, the author found the experience eye-opening.

Trial court committed plain error when it gave a jury instruction with “or” instead of “and” between five factors used to balance the weight given to eyewitness testimony

February
2002
Illinois Law Update
Page 66
On November 26, 2001, the Appellate Court of Illinois, First District, reversed the defendant's first-degree murder and attempt (first-degree murder) convictions and remanded the case for a new trial.

Correspondence from Our Readers

December
2001
Column
Page 614
Direct questioning by lawyers; the way it used to be.

Failure of jury instructions to specify a finding on quantity of drugs, while erroneous, was harmless error given the overwhelming evidence supporting the sentence

November
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 568
On September 7, 2001, the seventh circuit court of appeals affirmed the defendant's convictions for several drug-related possession and distribution charges and his prison sentence of 468 months.

Failure to give jury instruction on witness believability was an abuse of discretion when a police officer testified to material facts omitted from his written report

October
2001
Illinois Law Update
Page 516
On August 16, 2001, the Appellate Court of Illinois, Second District, held that the trial court abused its discretion when it refused to accept the defendant's requested jury instruction on witness believability.

Voir Dire: Do Parties Have an Absolute Right to Directly Question Prospective Jurors?

By Scott D. Lane
October
2001
Article
Page 535
In first district civil cases, the answer is yes -- as long as the questioning is "reasonable."

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
July
2001
Column
Page 338
Golfers in the (legal) news; capital punishment and the mentally retarded; and more.

The Lawyer’s Journal

By Bonnie C. McGrath
January
2001
Column
Page 10
Standard of review for fee suits; U.S. Supremes just say no to drug-sniffing dogs at checkpoints; employee claims rejected by 7CA; and more.

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