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Verdict Stands Despite Lawyer-Foreman

Posted Aug 2, 2007 7:34 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A New Jersey judge has found that a lawyer and state senator who served on a jury did not improperly influence his fellow jurors, despite what he said in an article about his experiences.

Sen. Robert Martin wrote for the New Jersey Law Journal last December about serving as a jury foreman in a slip-and-fall case. The jury awarded $860,000 in damages, and the defendant appealed. "I am convinced that in our case my opinions swayed other jurors and were extremely influential in the final outcome," Martin wrote.

Judge W. Hunt Dumont ruled yesterday there was no evidence of misconduct, the New Jersey Law Journal reports. The judge said none of the jurors gave greater weight to Martin’s opinions and sometimes they rejected his views.

"While the article should not have been published when it was, nevertheless, this was Senator Martin's error in judgment. But no harm has been done other than to delay the progress of the pending appeal."

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