Jury Duty

A hacked Romney is a sad Romney.

* Scott Walker, the not-exactly-beloved governor of Wisconsin who cut collective bargaining rights for most public workers, is still popular enough to survive a state recall election. In related news, the nation’s Republicans wish to report that, yes, they feel great this morning. [New York Times]

* If they keep dismissing jurors in the Roger Clemens trial, pretty soon it’ll be 12 Angry Men the sequel: 12 Empty Chairs and a Mistrial. [Bloomberg Law]

* Someone hacked Mitt Romney’s email. Gawker published a massive expose didn’t even peek at the emails and informed the Romney camp straightaway. Wait, really? [Gawker]

* The New York City Bar Association says it’s okay to do online research about prospective jurors, as long as the jurors don’t know about it. So, basically, that means you can’t friend the cute redhead on Facebook, even as part of your “research” for the case. [Thomson Reuters News & Insight]

* Who knew that the Barnes & Noble children’s section is apparently a pedo hangout? [The Consumerist]

* An employee in the Texas State Attorney General’s office was convicted of abusing her position to commit identity theft. And it was fun, fun, fun, until she was sentenced to two-and-a-half years in the slammer. [Courthouse News Service]

Casey Anthony: Who you gonna call?

It’s hard to believe that almost a year has passed since the verdict in the trial of Casey Anthony, who was accused of murdering her two-year-old daughter, Caylee Anthony. The acquittal of Casey Anthony, which generated strong emotional responses — hear, e.g., this 10-second voicemail — still fascinates, and infuriates, many people.

At least that’s what I concluded after attending a very interesting event at Pace Law School last night, a panel discussion on the Casey Anthony case (for which I received CLE credit, yay). The auditorium was packed, and the energy in the crowd — and on the stage, where the passionate panelists sparred with each other — was palpable.

It was fascinating to see Jeff Ashton, the lead prosecutor, and J. Cheney Mason, co-counsel for Casey Anthony (with Jose Baez), essentially re-argue the case. They were joined by a celebrated television jurist, Judge Alex Ferrer (aka Judge Alex), and a noted novelist and law professor, Thane Rosenbaum of Fordham Law School.

So what was discussed at the panel? If you’re looking for a quick primer on the Casey Anthony prosecution, so you can sound intelligent the next time your daytime-television-addicted aunt asks you about it at Thanksgiving, keep reading….

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The verdict is in — and we’re not just talking about vanity license plates for luxury cars. We’re talking about the jury in the prosecution of former senator John Edwards, vice-presidential nominee turned disgraced philanderer, for alleged violations of campaign finance law.

So, what did the jury decide? Let’s find out.

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Roger Clemens

Coffee is a critical tool of the American justice system.

Daniel C. Richman, a professor at Columbia Law School, commenting on the need for jurors to have access to caffeine during trials. This topic arose after recent happenings in the Roger Clemens trial.

(What happened during Roger Clemens’s trial that would elicit such a response? Find out, after the jump.)

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Last fall, we shared the evidence exam of Harvard Law School professor Charles Nesson. His fall exam didn’t seem to require a lot of evidence knowledge.

This semester, Professor Nesson is teaching an “American Jury” class. We received a copy of the spring take-home exam.

How do you ace a class at Harvard? You better play a lot of attention to cases your professor is currently involved in, and you better not fall asleep during the screening of 12 Angry Men….

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* Paul Clement is a beast, is basically what it comes down to. [The Daily Beast]

* This is probably the grossest, most pornographic employment discrimination/sexual harassment/defamation lawsuit I’ve seen. Maybe fans of 50 Shades of Grey (affiliate link) might find it compelling. The writing in the lawsuit is probably better… [Courthouse News]

* Predictive coding is good. Now it’s bad. Now it’s good. Make up your mind! [Law Technology News]

* A touching obituary about a first-year Reed Smith associate who recently took his own life. [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette]

* Elie was on Fox News late last night (video embed after the jump). He brought the funny. [Red Eye]

* If you ever get in trouble for tweeting or blogging about jury duty, Davis Oscar Markus is the guy to call. [Miami Herald]

* LexisNexis recently unveiled its new, ginormous legal e-book library. It’s just like a normal law library, except you don’t have to ask the pesky law librarian for help. [LexisNexis]

(Embedded Elie, after the jump.)

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Usually when we hear about courtroom drama stemming from social media, it’s caused by someone, you know, actually involved in the case.

Not today! This week, a judge declared a mistrial in a Kansas murder case after a pesky reporter shot and published a cellphone pic from trial. What kind of scandalous photos was the intrepid journalist taking?

The kind that almost certainly doesn’t warrant a mistrial….

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What's the matter with you? Don't you get it?

After writing about enough jurors who get in trouble for posting about their cases online, one begins to feel like Tom Smykowski in Office Space, desperately and hopelessly trying to justify his job to the Bobs. It seems so simple, but no one seems to get it.

You can’t talk about the case on Facebook! Can’t you understand it? What is the hell is wrong with you people?!

This week, we have two more cases of idiot jurors in California and Colorado who simply could not resist going to Facebook to say, ironically, the same thing about the cases they were hearing.

What did they have to say? What kind of titillating trials were they supposed to decide while they were iPhoning instead? And more importantly, how did the attorneys in the cases respond?

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Susan Cole isn't crazy, but her hair kind of is.

Almost everyone likes to fantasize and talk big game to their friends about outlandish strategies to get out of jury duty. But when it comes down to it, most normal people don’t have the balls to show up in court and act full-out crazy to avoid being seated.

For the courageous unpatriotic few who do play the nutso card, the most significant consequence would probably be a good cocktail party story. Nobody ever actually gets in trouble for creatively trying to avoid jury duty. Right?

Well, when you call in to the radio to tell your story of jury duty tomfoolery, you never know who is listening….

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Why don't jurors listen to directions?

As we heard from Elie last week, a jury is like a box of chocolates. You never know what you’re going to get. The already unpredictable American jury system has gotten even more chaotic over the last several years as the internet has become ubiquitous, at home and in court.

Juror misconduct by internet can lead to mistrials, and it’s becoming increasingly (and unfortunately) more common. Last month the Vermont Supreme Court overturned an unsettling child sexual assault conviction because a juror conducted his own research about the Somali Bantu culture central to the parties in the case.

What a mess…

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