Pound‘s Forum for State Appellate Court Judges, held annually since 1992, is a full-day educational program offered only to judges. This intensive, in-depth examination of current issues affecting civil justice in the United States allows judges to attend as guests of the Institute, at no cost to them or their court. This Forum provides original legal research, created by prominent academics; commentary by experts from both sides of the bar; and small group discussions to facilitate a deep dive into the issues raised. The Forum papers and reports are available for free download and provide citable, unique resources for the judiciary, academics, and practitioners.
2021 Judges Forum – “Juries, Voir Dire, Batson, and Beyond: Achieving Fairness in Civil Jury Trials”
Saturday, July 17, 2021, Virtually
In American civil litigation, the judiciary’s goal is fairness to all litigants. It is critical to provide a trial environment in which litigants are treated fairly, no matter what their ethnicity, gender, or social status. Effective voir dire and peremptory/cause challenges play a major role in achieving that environment. The availability of challenges is particularly important in situations in which jurors sometimes admit to bias but claim that they can set their biases aside—which may be sincere but psychologically impossible. The current COVID-19 crisis, which has forced many courts to try “virtual” jury selection and trial, makes all jury trial goals harder to achieve.
Judges attending the 2021 Forum will consider (1) the critical role jury-related fairness issues play in civil trials (even when those cases are reviewed on appeal) and (2) how the judiciary might address jury trial fairness through the rulemaking roles of appellate judges, in creating new civil procedure rules or amending old rules, e.g. to direct trial court judges to allow challenges for bias.
CLICK HERE to see prior Judges Forums.