When a Juror Calls You a Motherf*cker

Sadly, “M.J.”  didn’t want to attach his name to this story in public.  But I assure you it comes from a prominent top notch NY trial attorney, and is very much a first person account of jury selection.

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I picked in Nassau a couple of years ago on a trip and fall.  I stood up and asked the panel whether there was anyone who took issue with the case from the outset simply by virtue of the fact that I represented someone in a trip and fall accident where they were claiming injuries.

A pleasant looking 40-ish year old woman raised her hand and said “You motherfucker.”

I started laughing and said “I’m sorry, what?”  “You motherfucker.  I’m so sick and tired of you lawyers suing everyone for x,y,z…”

This went on for about 3-4 minutes and then I asked her to come outside and we saw the clerk.  I told the clerk “This nice lady feels I’m a motherfucker and can’t judge my case fairly.”

The clerk sent her to a murder trial panel.

I went back into the room and asked the panel “Who else here thinks I’m a motherfucker?”  All but five hands went up and I let them all go.

My adversary turned to me and said “Why don’t we let these five jurors go and start fresh?”  I said “no, these five people don’t think I’m a motherfucker – I’m keeping them,” to which my adversary responded “You motherfucker.”

Update: There were multiple reasons I put up this war-story post, and here they are.

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5 Responses Leave a comment

  • Matt Reed 2014.3.24 at 20:53 | Quote

    Where was the judge in all this? Asleep on the bench? You don’t have to answer that btw. It seems he should have admonished the first juror for name-calling and the others who agreed with her.

  • Eric Turkewitz 2014.3.24 at 20:57 | Quote

    Where was the judge in all this? Asleep on the bench?

    Jury selection in New York state courts takes place without judges sitting there. There are usually judicial hearing officers to go to for rulings if you need them, but even they don’t sit in and watch as they are generally overseeing multiple selections going on at once.

  • Matt Reed 2014.3.24 at 21:07 | Quote

    Thanks Eric. Crazy war story for sure.

  • Paul E 2014.5.24 at 11:38 | Quote

    Wow! that’s pretty blunt but sure appears to be the popular public opinion involving personal injury cases

Comments are closed.


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