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Articles Tagged with evidence

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Years ago, an engineer friend of mine served on a jury in a personal injury case. Later, he told me that during the entire process he (and several other jurors) believed information was not being provided them. They were right. Sometimes evidence is not admitted at trial and not seen by the jury. Our evidence rules are designed to prevent evidence that is not relevant or too prejudicial from being considered. But, sometimes the same rules also prevent the jury from hearing evidence needed to tell the full story.

If you have been hurt and need a lawyer, you need one with trial experience. Procedural and evidentiary rules can be complex. Your lawyer needs to know the rules and how to apply them quickly in trial situations. Unfortunately, many of the lawyers now advertising for automobile accident cases do not go to court. Some have never been to trial. They would not know how to argue a case effectively in a courtroom. Insurance companies know which lawyers will go to trial and it impacts the settlement offered you. When hiring a lawyer, you should absolutely ask questions about real trial experience.

What is one big issue kept secret from the jury? At trial, the jury is never told that the defendant actually has insurance. The rules in Alabama, and many other jurisdictions, forbid the jury from being informed about the defendant’s insurance coverage.

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We represent numerous clients in traumatic brain injury (TBI) cases. These cases are unique. They are often complex. They require study and preparation. At our firm, we follow a unique approach that: (1) emphasizes current scientific research into TBI issues; and, (2) when possible, integrates the victim’s family into their care.

Outside of our cases, we continue to advocate for TBI issues. We highlight national brain injury awareness month each March. I regularly write and post TBI articles on my blog.

Today, I want to discuss one specific TBI issues — The refusal by some neuropsychologists to disclose their underlying data. Many TBI cases involve expert neuropsychologists. These are professionals with specialized training who conduct detailed tests to understand the problems a person suffers following a head trauma.

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Alabama Accident & Injury LawyersWe learn in school the right to a jury trial is fundamental. Yet, that basic right suffers constant attacks and problems from many sides. Special interest groups seek to limit accountability for misconduct. Lobbyists work to corrupt the system. Legislators in Alabama (and many other states) chronically underfund our Courts. Our court personnel work hard to provide fair trials with limited resources. While I’ve discussed many of these problems in past articles, today I want to talk about a practical issue that sometimes interferes with the court’s ability to conduct trials – the importance of having enough potential jurors present for trial.

This morning, the Huntsville Times ran an article about a local case that had to be continued due to a lack of potential jurors. The local case involves a proposed rock quarry and claim for damages against a local municipality. Naturally, it’s a high profile case. In high profile cases, it’s difficult to find impartial jurors under ideal circumstances. That’s understandable. Residents living in and around a proposed quarry may have deep feelings on the issue. Bias for one side might prevent their service on the jury.

Yet, it appears the problem is not simply one of finding unbiased jurors. Instead, it’s a problem of starting numbers – too few people to even select a jury. Several civil jury trials were set in Madison County this week, including this high-profile quarry case. Yet, according to the newspaper article, only 90 potential jurors were available for all these cases. That’s too few to provide panels for all the scheduled cases. It’s far too few people when one of those cases also brings publicity and bias.

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