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Jul 19, 2023

Striking of unvaccinated jurors didn’t violate Sixth Amendment 

By Nick Hurston  A federal District Court didn’t violate the Sixth Amendment right of criminal defendants to a jury of their peers when it struck potential jurors who were unvaccinated against COVID, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has held.  The defendants — unvaccinated due to sincerely held beliefs — objected that striking jurors […]

Oct 20, 2021

COA: Judge erred mentioning race, faith to possible jurors

RALEIGH (AP) — A Black judge went too far discouraging Black residents from avoiding jury duty when one of them cited religion as a reason he should be excused from serving in a trial, the North Carolina Court of Appeals ruled Tuesday. A majority on the three-judge panel ordered a new trial for Allen Anthony […]

Sep 30, 2020

Why virtual jury research is as effective as in-person

By Taylor Lyden In this new age of regional lockdowns and social distancing, counsel have had to adjust trial preparation significantly. While some jurisdictions are slowly opening and attempting to hold trials safely, many places are still in the early phases of re-opening and still prohibiting gatherings of more than 25 people or requiring quarantine […]

May 5, 2020

Shouting at jurors didn’t support conspiracy charge

  A Watauga County man who loudly confronted jurors as they left the courtroom after convicting his twin brother of assaulting a police officer shouldn’t have been convicted of conspiracy to intimidate a juror, a narrowly divided North Carolina Supreme Court has ruled, overturning a decision by an also-divided Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court […]

Aug 22, 2019

Jury backs Nicholas Sparks in lawsuit by former school head

A federal jury sided Wednesday with novelist Nicholas Sparks and the private Christian school he founded in his North Carolina hometown, dismissing claims by the school’s former headmaster that he was unjustly fired and then slandered by the author. Jurors spent about three hours before deciding that the author of “Message in a Bottle” and […]

Jan 23, 2019

The five most common faults of trial lawyers

One of the great privileges of being a judge is to be able to speak with jurors after a trial, to thank them and to ask them questions about the process. Many jurors, with a little encouragement, will offer their views about the presentation of the case — what worked, what didn’t, and how it […]

Dec 20, 2018

Trial was fair despite faulty jury instruction

  A Mecklenburg County man convicted of possessing a firearm won’t get a new trial, even though the jury that convicted him received an instruction that was unsupported by the state’s evidence, the North Carolina Supreme Court has ruled. The court held in a Dec. 7 opinion that criminal defendants are not automatically entitled to […]

May 3, 2018

Printing error blamed for murder trial delays

Court officials in Guilford County had less than 10 people answer jury duty calls April 30 and May 1, the Winston-Salem Journal reports. Prosecutors had planned to use the week to begin trials, including a first-degree murder case in Greensboro, but because of a printing error, only a fraction of the 320 expected jurors showed […]

Apr 24, 2018

Criminal Practice – Jury & Jurors – Voir Dire – Officer-Involved Shooting – Black Defendant – Stand Your Ground Instructions

In some other case involving a black male defendant and a shooting with police officers, it could very well be proper to allow the defendant to question jurors generally about their opinions and/or biases regarding police officer shootings of (specifically) black men; however, in this case, defendant testified that he did not know until after […]

Mar 22, 2018

Defendant charged for texting, attempting to bribe juror

CHARLOTTE (AP) A search warrant says a defendant in North Carolina texted a juror while in court and tried to bribe her. Thirty-four-year-old Wesley Westbrook is charged with harassment and offering a bribe in connection with the case. Westbrook was in court in September when the judge asked potential jurors if there was any reason […]

Nov 22, 2016

Criminal Practice – Judge Should Have Provided Jury Instructions

U.S. v. Clarke (Lawyers Weekly No. 001-164-16, 20 pp.) (Wynn, J.) No. 15-4299, Nov. 18, 2016; USDC at Alexandria, Va.; 4th Cir. Holding: A district court did not err in refusing to suppress evidence found in an inventory search of defendant’s vehicle, which police impounded after arresting defendant when he met an undercover agent at […]

Mar 17, 2016

Simplicity is the key to connecting with a jury

Paul Luvera Dolan Media Newswires I’ve written and lectured for many years about the essential concept of simplicity in trying lawsuits. Extensive research has demonstrated repeatedly that the message must be simple and consistent. The “rule of three,” that is, that lists should not be longer than three points, is based upon that concept. Trial […]

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