Wednesday, October 21, 2009

We, the jury…

I fulfilled my civic duty and wrapped up a 9-day stint as a Fulton County juror last Thursday.  I think I have several blog posts in mind related to my time as a fair and impartial juror, but for now I’ll summarize.


- I landed on a medical malpractice civic trial involving a 7-week old boy who ended up with permanent brain damage due to Group B Streptococcus.  The plaintiffs were seeking around $25M in actual damages (lost wages and medical bills) and upwards of $100M in damages for pain and suffering.

- The first day was, obviously, jury selection.  Days 2 through 7 were the trial itself, followed by days 7 through 9 of deliberation.  On the 9th day we returned a unanimous verdict for the defendant (the ER doctor the plaintiffs were suing).

- I went in with an open mind, knowing it was going to be hard to (a) find for the defendant and crush the hopes of this family or (b) find for the plaintiffs and ruin a doctor’s career.  I listened to all of the witnesses and took 40 pages of notes throughout the course of the trial.  The evidence, testimony and other statements presented at trial included photos of the boy (now 2), videos of him and even a poem about the joys of little boys.  Not a fun 2 weeks.

Overall, I’m glad to have had the chance to serve on a jury and gain some insight into our justice process.  Am I looking forward to serving on a jury again in the near future?  Hell no.  Do I wish it could have been shorter?  Of course!  But both sides of this lawsuit demanded as much time as necessary to determine a verdict.

More to come…

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