News Flash: Don’t go to the Jury Assembly Room to Observe Jurors.

There’s a story here about how a lawyer told his young associate to go to the jury assembly room to take notes about potential jurors. ¬†She did so, but court staff recognized her, made her leave, then told the judge.

The judge dismissed the jurors (bet they were sad about that), but refused to order the lawyer to turn her written notes over to the other side.

I just spent a day — a full day — as a potential juror at Dekalb County superior court here in Georgia, and you wear a sticker around that indicates that you’re a juror, so I’m not sure someone could sneak into that room (nor how much they’d learn if they did).

Don’t do this…

About David

Professor of Law, Mercer University School of Law. Formerly Of Counsel, Taylor English Duma, LLP and in 2012-13, judicial clerk to Chief Judge Rader.

8 thoughts on “News Flash: Don’t go to the Jury Assembly Room to Observe Jurors.

  1. 3

    I spent some time debriefing a professional ‘jury consultant’ once. She labeled each juror by the most bigoted, prejudicial, racist means possible. It was disturbing.

  2. 2

    There’s a great story about this guy — cannot recall his name, but he was a racist/etc. who was denied the bar because of moral character. He swore to uphold the law and all, but his goal was to change the law and constitution so that he could “deport,” essentially, every one who wasn’t like him. Interesting first amendment issues. Then he threatened a federal judge, and that was that.

    1. 2.1

      David, but there are a lot of people just like that we are fighting or have fought as a nation. National Socialists. Isis. Al Qaida. Hamas.

      They all seem to have the same ideology.

      Then we have attorneys who go out of their way to help these folk evade justice. What are they?

      1. 2.1.1


        I really, really, really hope that you realize that attorneys defending anybody are NOT to be ascribed the beliefs of those they are defending.

        I shudder to think that such a basic premise has slipped your understanding.


          But that doesn’t seem to be Ned’s point. It seems to be something along the line of it is (apparently) okay for people to have those idealogies in some circumstances, but not in other circumstances.


            I do not agree with your interpretation, Ctg.

            Ned is drawing a direct reference to the “beliefs” of counsel who may be representing someone with a belief system different than (and inimical to) what one may consider to be a “patriotic” belief system.

            This flies directly against the ABA model rules of professional conduct (see Rule 1.2(b): A Lawyer’s representation of a client, including representation by appointment, does not constitute an endorsement of the client’s political, economic, social or moral views or activities.)

            See also comments, paragraph [5]: Legal representation should not be denied to people who are unable to afford legal services, or whose cause is controversial or the subject of popular disapproval. By the same token, representing a client does not constitute approval of the client’s views or activities. (emphasis added).

            His comment about “evading justice” is out of line – if you are familiar with his writing style and views, you would recognize this. Further, Ned is fully capable of “setting the record straight,” if indeed I am misreading what he has posted.

  3. 1

    David, you don’t think the Al Capone way of handling cases is ethical?

    Well, it certainly was effective.

    Just a thought, one of the reasons judges get assassinated in Roman Law jurisdictions is that they decide cases, not jurors.

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