Polling a Jury: How to Keep Yourself Out of La La Land…

So the clerk finishes reading the jury’s verdict and your client has just lost.  What do you do? Why read the jury rules:

RULE 30. JUDGE TO READ THE VERDICT

When the jury has agreed upon its verdict, the foreperson shall sign the appropriate verdict form. When returned into court, the judge shall read the verdict. The court or either party may poll the jury. If a juror dissents from the verdict, the jury shall again be sent out to deliberate.

 I always poll a jury just in case.  After seeking permission of the court, I run down the line and separately ask each juror if this is their verdict. 

It’s painful to hear the bad news again, but you owe it to your client and your case to be sure. As Yogi Berra said, “It ain’t over, until it’s over.”

Hey, just because the Oscars never announced the wrong winner in 88 years doesn’t mean it cannot happen.  If you fail to poll the jury, you could end up in “La La Land” instead of basking in the “Moonlight.”

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About Richard A. Cook

Richard Cook graduated from Purdue University in the Economics Honor Program in 1979 and obtained his Juris Doctor degree from Valparaiso University School of Law in 1982. Following law school, Richard served as a federal law clerk in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana, Hammond Division. In 1984, Richard began working as Deputy Prosecutor for the Lake County Prosecutor's Office and from there, served as Assistant U. S. Attorney for the Northern District of Indiana, South Bend Division. There he handled a number of complex criminal matters and jury trials. While there, Richard received the Chief Postal Inspector's Special Award and a letter of commendation from the U.S. Attorney General for his work prosecuting a major money order fraud scheme being perpetrated out of the Indiana State Prison system. Since leaving the U.S. Attorney's office in 1989, Richard has focused primarily on civil work and is currently a member of the firm Yosha Cook & Tisch in Indianapolis. Richard is also a member of the ITLA, IBA and the ABA, as well as, a fellow for the American College of Trial Lawyers. He is AV rated by Martindale-Hubbell.

Posted on February 27, 2017, in Jury Rules, Jury Selection and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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