Law Prof's Article About His Jury Experience Leads to Overturned Verdict:

The ABA Journal has this interesting article about how a law professor's article for the New Jersey Law Journal resulted in an overturned jury verdict. A New Jersey appeals court ruled that the professor's explanation of legal concepts to his fellow jurors had a tendency to influence the verdict.

The appellate court opinion, found here, overturned a trial court finding that the professor's involvement was not uniquely important.

I disagree with the appellate court's decision. Whenever a juror is selected to participate in a jury, he brings his own background along with him. The appellate court does not contend that the law professor was instructed not to use his legal background in participating in jury deliberations. Moreover, both sides decided not to use a peremptory strike to remove him. Having taken a calculated gamble that the law professorwould be favorable to their side of the case, I don't think that the losing party should be able to challenge the resulting verdict on appeal.