New York City Personal Injury Law Blog

The Fastest Way to have Your Personal Injury Case Declared a Mistrial  

Posted on May 18, 2015 in Personal Injury

Do you know the fastest way to get a mistrial in the state of New York, in a medical malpractice case, in an accident case, or even a wrongful death case? Here are some of the common ways mistrials typically happen in personal injury cases.

The Judge will be Instructing the Jury

Understanding Legal Terms

A mistrial can be declared via the judge citing various reasons.

At the trial’s inception, the judge is going to give instructions to the jury, and they are direct and strongly worded instructions. These instructions say that jurors are not allowed to discuss this case during the time of the lawsuit, when they are there listening to the testimony. The only time jurors can talk about this case is after the trial is over, the judge has explained the law regarding the particular case, and the jury is asked to go and deliberate over the case.

No Outside Influences or Information

One of the other important instructions the judge will give to the jury is that under no circumstances during the time of the trial, jurors can go online to search for information:

  • About what is happening in this particular case
  • To learn information about the witnesses
  • To do any type of research on the facts of the case or the medicines involved in the case

If jurors do this, they will be bringing in information from outside the courtroom, from outside the evidence that has been presented in court, and from outside the witnesses who have testified. Secondly, jurors will be applying their own knowledge and information based upon their own online and dedicated research. This is not allowed for many reasons.

The Quickest Way to Receive a Mistrial

If the court finds out that the jurors or a juror has done any of this, it would be the quickest way of getting a mistrial in the state of New York. Why is that? It is because the jury will be supplementing their research and their information, to the information that is going to be coming to them in the trial through various witnesses, evidence, testimony, and anything else that is presented to the jury during the course of the trial, and that is not acceptable.

Therefore, the quickest way to be given a mistrial is when the jury disregards the judge’s instructions to do things that they are clearly not supposed to be doing. The jury is meant to listen to all the testimonies, review the evidence that is presented, listen to all the arguments, and remarks that are made, and then deliberate over the case, to arrive at a verdict.

The jury needs to depend only on what they hear in court and whatever is permitted by the judge. Sometimes the judge might even instruct the jury to disregard something that has been said by one of the attorneys or the witnesses. Hence, the instructions are very clear, and they are meant to exclude all external influences and information. The whole point of having a lawsuit in court is to exclude external influence, and if the jury or one of its members disregards this fundamental rule, then your case will be declared a mistrial.

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