Juror Removed in Citigroup Case After Google Search Revealed Michael Moore Link
A dance teacher and former circus performer sitting as a juror in a case involving Citigroup was dismissed after a law firm Google search showed she was associated with a film by muckraking filmmaker Michael Moore.
U.S. District Judge Jed Rakoff of Manhattan dismissed the juror after he concluded she appeared to be lying and eager to stay on the case when he questioned her about alleged comments she made outside the courtroom, the Wall Street Journal (sub. req.) and the New York Daily News report.
Citigroup lawyer Ted Wells said he became concerned when the juror’s demeanor changed as the bank began presenting its case. Citigroup is accused in the civil suit of duping Terra Firma Capital Partners in its $6.3 billion acquisition of EMI Group.
Before Citigroup’s presentation, the juror was attentive and took notes “like a person possessed,” Wells said. But when he began presenting the Citigroup case, “I saw a different person,” he said.
The observation prompted the Google search and the discovery that the juror was on the credits of Moore’s film, Capitalism: A Love Story. After Wells objected, a court reporter told of overhearing the juror’s comments while on an elevator. She reportedly complained about “too much information” and not knowing what to focus on.
Michael Moore told the Wall Street Journal that the juror was simply a Santa’s helper to her husband in a scene about unemployed people who were working as Santas. Moore said his film shouldn’t be the reason for disqualification. If anything, he told the newspaper, it should be required viewing.