Eastern District

Differing Opinions on the Acceptance of Questions From Jurors

, The Legal Intelligencer


This is a procedure that is slowly gaining acceptance in both state and federal courts, albeit with some significant opposition. Questions from jurors to witnesses during trial is promoted by some federal judges, rejected by others, and cautiously permitted by circuit courts with words of reservation.

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What's being said

  • Litigator

    After decades of litigation in the Third Circuit courts, I had a great experience last year in a civil trial in the New Jersey District Court where the Judge allowed the jurors to question each witness. The questions were written down and reviewed by counsel. The attorney whose witness was on the stand would ask the questions. I found the procedure extremely helpful. I would much rather that the jurors go into deliberations with answers from the witnesses than having the jurors guess at the answers. Would love to see the practice expanded throughout the Circuit.

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