Thoughts on Jury Orientation

I sat through jury orientation and (non) selection yesterday.

One observation:

While there was frequent mention of attorneys doing things, there was absolutely no mention of the possibility that a litigant might be self-represented.  This might have the unintended effect of discouraging those who do not have the resources for a lawyer to feel that they can not move a case forward.

While I would assume that a judge in a self-represented jury case would frame careful appropriate instructions on that situation, the fact that the video previously shown the jurors assumed only cases with lawyers might make that task harder.  (See here for an article that discuses possible instructions to a jury in a self-represented case.)

I encourage courts to take a look at their videos and think about whether there might be a way of mentioning self-representation without seeming to push it.  Suggestions will be shared here.

 

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About richardzorza

I am deeply involved in access to justice and the patient voice movement.
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