Superior Court Affirms that Jurors May Be Dismissed for Cause When There is the Prospect or Appearance of Partiality or Bias
Published on: March 17, 2014
In Cordes v. Assocs. of Internal Medicine, a divided Superior Court affirmed that jurors may be struck for cause for various reasons, including:
- First, indirect relationships of a juror to a party with which the juror has had no direct contact, including connections through spouses with a potential (also indirect) employment-related interest in the outcome of the trial, may furnish a basis for per se exclusion.
Second, trial courts must err on the side of caution when confronted with such an indirect relationship;
Third, no matter the per se nature of the applicable test, the trial court retains discretion to identify and assess the quality of the specific relationship at hand, OKincluding the frequency or remoteness in time of the contacts, may dictate contrary results.
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