Category Archives: Jury Rules

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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