//Striking Back Against Peremptory Strikes

Striking Back Against Peremptory Strikes

The ability to challenge potential jurors for reasons other than possible bias has been an accepted part of jury selection since juries themselves became a part of the English legal system, some 800 years ago.1 Peremptory challenges have been part of U.S. law since the 1790 Act.2 All states allow peremptory challenges in some form.3

Yet, notwithstanding long history and wide use, could peremptory challenges be abolished? The U.S. Supreme Court has noted — in a series of opinions stretching back almost 100 years — that “[s]tates may withhold peremptory challenges ‘altogether without impairing the constitutional guarantee of an impartial jury and a fair trial.’”4 Justice Marshall, in his concurrence in Batson, advocated “eliminating peremptory challenges entirely.”5 Justice Breyer cited Marshall’s language in a recent concurrence: “I believe it is necessary to reconsider Batson’s test and the peremptory challenge system as a whole.”6 Even Great Britain, which gave us the peremptory challenge system, has now abolished such strikes.7

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By |2018-01-03T22:46:31+00:00January 3rd, 2018|Uncategorized|0 Comments

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Client Results

Served as national coordinating counsel for two Fortune 100 companies jointly defending more than 55,000 asbestos claims; also served those clients both as national motions counsel and as trial counsel.

National trial counsel for a large U.S. manufacturer of household fixtures; have represented the company in numerous wrongful death and brain injury suits.

Represented a pharmaceutical client in a suit brought by the state of Alabama, alleging fraud in Medicaid-related drug prices. The Supreme Court of Alabama found for the manufacturer on all counts.

Won a motion to defeat creation of a multi-district litigation (MDL) case; argued before the Joint Panel on Multi-District Litigation (JPML).

Served as national counsel for a client sued in more than 300 cases, many alleging wrongful death, following the company’s recall of more than a dozen of its products. Resolved the entire docket of cases in less than two years through “no pay” dismissals, motions practice, and the remainder were resolved at values acceptable to the client.

Obtained a directed verdict during trial from a federal district court on a Daubert motion; appellants dismissed their case after oral argument in the Eleventh Circuit.

Represented a manufacturer in proceedings before the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA); after eight months of submissions, NHTSA determined there was no evidence of defect and denied a recall petition.

Regulatory counsel for clients involved in proceedings before the Consumer Products Safety Commission (CPSC) concerning safety standards, ongoing and completed recalls, and accident investigations.

Won a product liability jury trial in state court for the largest U.S. automobile manufacturer; plaintiff was seeking punitive damages.

Tried a multi-week wrongful death case and received from plaintiffs’ counsel — the day before closings were to begin — a stipulation of dismissal.