Communication with Jurors Self-Quiz








Scarface, your client and the defendant in a drug-related murder trial, is worried that everyone in the community knows him and hates his guts. He demands that you investigate the background of a prospective juror on his case whom he suspects is biased against him. In response, you hire an investigator to research the background of this juror. Are you subject to discipline?
Choice 1 No, not if the investigator’s work does not involve direct contact with the juror and involves no harassment.
Choice 2 Yes, because such a practice is abhorrent and disturbing.
Choice 3 Yes, because a lawyer may not unilaterally conduct an investigation into the background of a juror chosen to sit on a trial.
You represent Tony Montana in a murder trial that lasts for three and a half months. During the course of the trial, one of the jurors suffers a tough cold. It’s not bad enough for the juror to miss a day of court, but it makes it obviously difficult for the juror to get through what is generally a long and boring day in court. You’re a great guy, and want to show your appreciation for the juror’s efforts in light of the special difficulties she’s encountered. So with Tony’s permission, you send a box of tissues and some sweet lozenges along with a long-stemmed rose to the juror’s home. Are you subject to discipline?
Choice 1 Absolutely, because your actions constitute an impermissible contact with the juror.
Choice 2 No, because you are entitled to do something nice for someone you care about in our country.
Choice 3 No, because you did not initiate direct contact with the juror.
You are an attorney hanging out with an old high school buddy, Jackson Padlock. Jackson is a juror on a case having to do with a felony murder that occurred during the robbery of a Brinks truck. Jackson has an enquiring mind and wants to learn from his experience on the jury. He asks you some questions about evidentiary law, based on some things he noticed about the evidence the prosecution presented at the trial. You, fresh out of law school, provide him with a rather detailed lecture on the law from bits and pieces that you remember from studying for the bar exam. Are you subject to discipline?
Choice 1 Yes, for exercising improper influence over the trial.
Choice 2 No, because you are not connected with the trial.
Choice 3 No, because you didn’t know that you could be doing any harm.
You are incredibly disappointed, almost to the point of tears. Your good friend and client in a fraud case, Steve O. Trickson, was just convicted by a federal jury two days ago. You want to know what you did wrong, both for Steve O.’s sake and your own. Perhaps you could find out whether or not the jury was tainted, you think to yourself. You know that your jurisdiction allows some post-trial juror contact by lawyers. You call up two of the former jurors and ask them about their deliberations. Are you subject to discipline?
Choice 1 No, because the trial has ended and there is no way you could be exercising any improper influence.
Choice 2 Yes, if you did not obtain the court’s permission to contact the jurors.
Choice 3 No, unless the jurors complain to the court.

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