Judge requires juror service despite admitted bias after unsuccessful efforts to rehabilitate

Feb 21, 2022
Amit Patel, JD, MA
Amit Patel, Jury Consultant
Themevision Focus

by: Amit Patel, Jury Consultant

The civil jury trial in Guerrero v. Cardenas presents an extraordinary example of a judge not only trying to rehabilitate jurors who do not want to be jurors in a case but also requiring them to serve.  Following a defense verdict, plaintiff claimed the judge improperly required two jurors to serve on the jury despite one saying he would “never serve on a jury” and the other juror expressing reluctance to serve because of what happened to a family member in a jury trial. 

A Texas intermediate appellate court opinion denying the plaintiff’s request for a new trial provides large portions of the voir dire transcript.  The judge’s dialogue with these venire members discloses his extraordinary, unsuccessful efforts to convince each juror to serve on the jury, even after the jurors admitted bias.  When each declined, the judge ordered them to serve.

Link to opinion: https://law.justia.com/cases/texas/first-court-of-appeals/2022/01-20-00045-cv.html

Source: National Center for State Courts

Amit is a consultant with ThemeVision LLC, a jury research and litigation consulting firm affiliated with Barnes & Thornburg LLP. Amit is both a lawyer and a social psychologist, combining his background in law and psychology to provide clients with a comprehensive approach toward jury selection and consulting. Amit can be reached via telephone at (317) 231-7744 or by e-mail at amit.patel@themevision.com.
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