Take It from the Judges; Juries Favor Defendants


  This evening I attended the annual dinner of the New York City Association of Trial Lawyers, and I had a chance to catch-up with old friends of the bench and bar.  I talked to two friends who are judges in Brooklyn Supreme Court.  We discussed jury trends.

Judge A has been a judge for 20 years and for about 10 years prior to that he was a judge’s law secretary.  Judge A says that he has seen Brooklyn juries grow more conservative and dismiss more cases.  He estimates that 2 out 3 cases result in defense verdicts.  He has seen this in medical malpractice cases that he has tried.

Judge B has been a judge for 30 years.  He estimates that 7 out of 10 cases result in defendants’ verdicts.  Judge B handles general negligence cases involvling auto accidents and building accidents.

Both judges commented that juries have become more conservative.  This is noteworthy in that Kings County is the second most favorable county in the City after Bronx County.

We have seen this trend in all counties in New York.  Therefore, we are most careful in advising clients as to proceeding to either settlement or trial or arbitration.  We have the experience and battle scars.  Our recommendation to a client to either settle or go to trial is based on the unique facts and circumstances of each client’s case.

If you have been in an accident, please feel free to call me for a free consultation at 800-581-1434.

Mark E. Seitelman, 10/29/08, www.seitelman.com.

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