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.
Source: National Center for State Courts