No Error Leaving Defense Counsel on Med Mal Jury

The Texas Supreme Court has held that it is not error for a judge to permit a lawyer who regularly represents defendants in medical negligence cases to sit on a medical neligence jury.

The lawyer/juror candidly admitted that he would tend to relate to the defense lawyers in the case and that he would tend to look at the case from their perspective. He did say he would do his best to be objective.

I would love to know why the plaintiff’s lawyer let this guy sit on the jury given these answers; perhaps there were worse jurors and the lawyer had to use all of the preemptory challenges on them. I certainly wouldn’t second guess the lawyer for the call (especially without knowing a whole lot more about the facts) – picking a jury is the hardest part of a trial. Judgments must be made quickly, often on gut instinct (even when you use a consultant) and require you do look across the venire and think what you will get if you use a challenge on the potential juror you are evaluating.

This reminds me of a statement made years ago by my mentor which he learned from his own mentor over 50 years ago. He said: “There are three thinks you can never figure out. First, why one person picks another person as a spouse. Second, what a jury is going to do. And third, why bird sh*t is always white on top.”

Now, those of you who know the answer to the last question please don’t tell me what it is – it will ruin a story that I have been telling for over 20 years.

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