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.
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.