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Jury questioning in Humeston v. Merck



One wildcard in the Humeston v. Merck Vioxx case: Judge Higbee is permitting jurors to pose questions. The questions are written, anonymously submitted, and screened by the judge; follow-ups are not allowed. To date, the questions have been creative, sophisticated, and skeptical of both sides. One thing everyone agrees upon: the questions don't add predictive power to outside observers trying to guess how the jury will decide. But attorneys on each side can ignore the jurors' questions only at their own peril. (Heather Won Tesoriero, Barbara Martinez, and Paul Davies, "Jurors Play Lawyer in Vioxx Case, Asking Tough Questions", Wall Street Journal, Oct. 14 ($); Lisa Brennan, "Keen Questioning by Jurors Demystifies Vioxx Trial", New Jersey Law Journal, Oct. 5).

 

 


Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy
rmangual@manhattan-institute.org

Katherine Lazarski
Manhattan Institute
klazarski@manhattan-institute.org

 

Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.