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Lawyer Lies to be Juror, Blog Threatens Verdict

Some lawyers deserve the despicable reputation that people assign to the profession. Please don’t hold that against all lawyers, though. :)

An attorney in California apparently lied during jury selection to obtain a seat on the jury. Instead of disclosing that he is a licensed attorney, he said he was a project manager for a technology company. He ended up becoming the jury’s foreman. (Associated Press article)

To showcase his intelligence, he blogged about the trial, including his falsified profession and detailed information about the jury’s deliberations. What a stinker!

Now the recidivist burglar might get a new trial. He was convicted in this case and sentenced to 38 years in prison, but he will be retried, if a hearing finds bias in his first trial.

Here’s the part I find most baffling:

The trial judge in the case threatened to report the juror to the state bar but accepted the verdict.

So the judge knew that the juror had lied in court. But instead of reporting the juror, he just ignored it.

Maybe I’m a jerk, but I think they BOTH should be disciplined. The attorney should be suspended and the judge should at least receive a fine. Talk about giving the profession a bad name. So much for “self-policing ethics.”

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6 Responses to “Lawyer Lies to be Juror, Blog Threatens Verdict”

  1. FacingSharks
    June 17th, 2007

    I disagree with giving the judge a fine. I think he too should be permanently dismissed.

    That’s the problem with America’s courts. We don’t see much justice because those in the courts handing down judgment on others have no integrity themselves.

    How do you trust liars and those that cover for liars? You don’t. Get rid of them both and put some people with integrity over us to judge us.

    I don’t think judges should be appointed for life either. If they screw up, fire them. Who wants to go before a judge that protects a liar or lies themsevles?

  2. Ron Bell
    June 17th, 2007

    Totally agree with you, Andrew. Have to say, though, that on a tangentially related topic, I’m fascinated by the concept of someone who wants so badly to serve as a juror that he would lie to be on the panel. That’s totally contrary to my own experience and raises some interesting questions about motive.

  3. Andrew Flusche
    June 17th, 2007

    You guys both raise good points. Perhaps the judge should be suspended as well, at least for a while. Ignoring a blatant lie in court isn’t a small infraction.

    And it is definitely odd that somebody would lie to get ON a jury. It reminds me of Grisham’s “The Runaway Jury” – trying to manipulate the jury for your own purposes. Scary stuff.

  4. [...] Lawyer Lies to be Juror, Blog Threatens Verdict [...]

  5. Howard Citron
    November 14th, 2007

    How sad . . . As a trial attorney, this article serves to unearth my greatest fears with the jury system. With litigants’ freedom, livelihoods and more on the line this is a very distubing report. The offending lawyer/juror should be disciplined.

  6. Andrew Flusche
    November 14th, 2007

    Howard – I couldn’t agree more. Isn’t that a sad testament to our legal system?

    Thanks for commenting – Andrew

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