Neal Brown

Neal Brown

Why Can’t Trial Counsel Tell Me About the Jurors?

We believe it greatly aids our insurance carrier client to understand the jury composition. That’s why we always request permission of the Court to share this information. But when the judge says “no,” we offer other solutions.

Here’s an example:

Following jury selection in a medical malpractice trial, we asked the trial judge for permission to share with our claims representative information about our jurors, which we gleaned from the jury list.  The judge denied our request.

Per Maryland Rule 2-512(c), a party is only allowed to provide the jury list “to any person employed by the party to assist in jury selection.”Unless permitted by the judge, a party “may not disseminate the list or information contained on the list to any other person.” Therefore, if the Court says “no,” Rule 2-512(c) precludes dissemination of information on a jury list.

While we wanted to let our insurance carrier know certain information about our jury, this Rule and the judge’s ruling was prohibitive. In this case, the judge concluded the information we wanted to share was outweighed by the protection of the jurors’ anonymity.

So, what do we do? Although we could not share specific juror information gleaned from the list, we could let the claims representative know we were pleased with the jury based on the data available.  We also invited the claims representative to sit in the courtroom and make her own observations about the demographic make-up of our jury. The claims representative attended the trial and got a “good feel” for the jury first-hand.

Bottom Line: If you are precluded from providing jury list information, plan on having the claims representative present to observe the jury make-up.

If we can help you think through this type of scenario, or anything else, please contact us!

Neal Brown

Neal Brown

Neal Brown is a Fellow of the American College of Trial Lawyers and a Martindale-Hubbell AV-rated trial attorney. He is a founding partner of Waranch & Brown, where he has devoted his career to defending hospitals and health care providers in medical malpractice and related cases.