Articles Posted in Trials and Juries

Spoiler alert: A lot.

Yep, last Thursday, a California jury awarded $7.97 million to a woman who claimed that he employer fired her in retaliation for claiming workers’ compensation benefits.

And even though the case settled on Monday, while you were getting your blockchain on, I think that the plaintiff can spring for extra guac…for all of us. Continue reading

[After publishing this post, I was contacted by counsel for the City of Charlotte. It seems that some of the facts in both this post and the underlying reports upon which I based this post don’t tell the full story. So is this … (pause) … “Fake News”?!? Here is a follow-up post I ran based on the information the City attorney provided me.] Continue reading

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You folks in HR don’t have to read any further. Go do yeoman’s work today by putting the “human” in human resources. Or whatever it is you do each day.

But, the lawyers. Let’s see if I can thaw some of your icy hearts with an irresistible invitation and offer.

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A tight squeeze Project 365(2) Day 357

Earlier in the Summer, I blogged here about this federal court opinion, recognizing that a convenience store may have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by firing a diabetic cashier.

The facts showed that the diabetic cashier twice violated the store’s grazing policy by removing bottles of orange juice from the store cooler without immediately paying for them. Except, she may have taken the OJ, because the store otherwise refused to accommodate her disability. Continue reading

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Many times — most recently last Friday — I’ve discussed instances in which the 24/7 world of social media has cost individuals their jobs.

But, here’s a little twist. Earlier this month, a Pennsylvania federal court ruled here that a plaintiff’s Facebook page called “Yo know yo ass is from the da hood,” could be used by a defendant-employer to impeach an African-American employee’s claims of race discrimination and retaliation at work.

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You see, in certain instances, a trial witness’s social media breadcrumbs may undermine her credibility and score points for your client. But when the witness — and the lawyer trying to impeach the witness with her social networking activities — display as much combined tech savvy as J-Lo’s PR machine, hilarity trouble may ensue:

(h/t @PhilipMiles)

Social media dataflowsGot a jury trial coming up? Concerned about jurors using social media to discuss the case or conduct independent research during trial? As you may recall from this blog post, if you are counting on the court to independently instruct jurors not to get their Twitter on, well, don’t hold your breath.

Instead, consider including this new two-page model jury instruction addressing juror use of social media during trial. You’ll note that jurors are instructed twice about social-media use. According to this official press release, the new rules emphasize that a single instruction to refrain from using social media to discuss/research the trial is not enough:

The judges recommended that jurors frequently be reminded about the prohibition on social media before the trial, at the close of a case, at the end of each day before jurors return home, and other times, as appropriate. Jurors should be told why refraining from use of social media promotes a fair trial. Finally, jurors should know the consequences of violations during trial, such as mistrial and wasted time. Those recommendations are now part of the guidelines.

“Doing What’s Right – Not Just What’s Legal”