Eastern District

Juror Note-Taking: Courts Weigh Benefits and Concerns

, The Legal Intelligencer


Note-taking by jurors, similar to permitting jurors to ask questions, once was generally discouraged but it is now becoming widely accepted. The arguments against note-taking are that the best note-takers, or perhaps the only note-taker, may dominate jury deliberations. Some critics assert that jurors will attach too much significance to their notes, merely because there is a writing, and attach too little significance to their independent memory. The opponents argue that the jurors who generally are not experienced in note-taking may accentuate irrelevances in their notes and ignore substantial issues or evidence. Also, note-taking jurors may not pay sufficient attention to the witnesses' on-the-stand demeanor and behavior, which is very important in assessing credibility.

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