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Juror's question in a medical malpractice case was not prejudicial: Stafford v. Burns, 241 Ariz. 474, 389 P.3d 76 (Ariz. Ct. App. Jan. 17, 2017)

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Nilgün Aykent Zahour and SM JUROR analyze the juror misconduct case of Stafford v. Burns, 241 Ariz. 474, 389 P.3d 76 (Ariz. Ct. App. Jan. 17, 2017), where not every violation of the court's admonitions requires dismissal of the juror involved. #JurorMisconduct

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Juror's question in a medical malpractice case was not prejudicial: Stafford v. Burns, 241 Ariz. 474, 389 P.3d 76 (Ariz. Ct. App. Jan. 17, 2017)

  1. 1. SM JUROR presents our analysis of: Stafford v. Burns, 241 Ariz. 474, 389 P.3d 76 (Ariz. Ct. App. Jan. 17, 2017). Not every violation of the court's admonitions requires dismissal of the juror involved.
  2. 2. Stafford v. Burns, 241 Ariz. 474, 389 P.3d 76 (Ariz. Ct. App. Jan. 17, 2017).
  3. 3. Copyright 2017 – SM JUROR. All rights reserved. www.smjuror.com
  4. 4. This presentation is brought to you by Nilgün Aykent Zahour, Esq. Nilgün Aykent Zahour is the President and Founding Attorney of SM JUROR. With over twenty-eight years of litigation experience, her passion is to help attorneys identify, preserve and advance juror misconduct issues at trial and on appeal in this constantly evolving area of the law. Don’t let juror misconduct taint your verdict, especially when a juror uses social media or the internet. You can view Nilgün’s education and background on the SM JUROR website by clicking here and also click/view her LinkedIn profile. Click on her latest article “The Verdict is In: Juries, Misconduct and Social Media”. Because the only evidence you want the jury to consider … is in the courtroom. Use SM JUROR. LINKS ARE CLICKABLE ON PC DESKTOPS AND SOME MOBILE PHONES
  5. 5. In this medical malpractice case, jurors were admonished not to discuss the case outside the jury room. At the end of the 11th day of trial, the court reporter heard Juror 10 make the following comment to other jurors in the elevator, “If the parameters were set at 11 to 24, why didn’t the alarm go off?” The court reporter told the jurors not to talk about the case and reported the incident to the trial court. Plaintiffs declined to question the juror but moved to excuse him. After questioning the juror and making the following findings based on the juror’s answers and demeanor, the trial court denied the motion: • No other discussion occurred; • the comment was minor, did not show Juror 10 made up his mind, or indicate any predetermination of the issues; • the comment did not influence other jurors; • the comment reflected the type of comment jurors would make during deliberations. Plaintiffs moved for a new trial because Juror 10 violated the court’s admonitions not to discuss the case outside of the jury room. Facts:
  6. 6. “Not every violation of the court's admonitions requires dismissal of the juror involved.” Stafford v. Burns, 241 Ariz. 474 ¶22, 389 P.3d 76 (Ariz. Ct. App. Jan. 17, 2017). Violations of the Court’s Admonitions: “[T]he trial court is in the best position to determine the effect, if any, of a juror's misconduct.” Id. The reviewing court will defer to the trial court’s conclusions, “particularly where, as here, there is no evidence to the contrary.” Id., at ¶22. “We review a decision to deny a new trial based upon alleged jury misconduct for an abuse of discretion.” Id., at ¶18. Copyright 2017 - SM JUROR
  7. 7. Holding: “The record does not show Juror 10 individually, or the jury generally, was biased because of Juror 10’s misconduct. The court did not abuse its discretion in denying the Staffords’ requests.” Stafford v. Burns, 241 Ariz. 474 ¶23, 389 P.3d 76 (Ariz. Ct. App. Jan. 17, 2017). Copyright 2017 - SM JUROR
  8. 8. Like what you see? Want more? to sign up for our free SM JUROR newsletter, filled with information about new juror misconduct cases, short webinars, or other helpful resources to help you identify, preserve and advance juror misconduct cases at trial and on appeal. Click here This is a clickable link Links are clickable on PC desktops and some mobile phones
  9. 9. We want to connect with you. Connect with SM JUROR by clicking on your favorite social media networks below: The phones above are clickable links on PC desktops and some mobile phones

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