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More on the Eastern District of Texas

The lede is buried in this analysis by a set of jury consultants about the Eastern District of Texas: interviews with mock trial jury participants in the Eastern District of Texas suggests widespread jury nullification of basic principles of patent law. Of course, I always take a mock trial result with a huge grain of salt; it's impossible to simulate the same degree of seriousness (or of aggravation with the delays of a real-life trial) in a mock jury. That said, analyses by jury consultants are always fascinating for what they imply but leave unsaid: if the consultants have any value, it will only be because jury trials are more like a game-show with results dependent on issues other than the ultimate truth, and the consultants are selling the keys to winning the game-show. The paper does have this extraordinary anecdote:

In 2008, Judge Ward of the Eastern District of Texas issued an order requiring anyone conducting a mock trial in the Marshall Division to reveal that a mock trial was taking place and to provide the names and addresses of the mock jurors. Mock trials had become so frequent in Marshall that the court was too often obliged to excuse jurors for cause because they had been mock jurors for the cases at hand.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.