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John Porter, Susan Carroll Publish Article on Jury Trials for Riverside Lawyer Magazine

San Bernardino, Calif. (January 27, 2021) - San Bernardino Partner John M. Porter and Paralegal Susan Carroll authored an article titled “Civil Jury Trials – State and Federal – a Succinct Comparison,” which has been published in the January 2021 issue of Riverside Lawyer Magazine, the official publication of the Riverside County Bar Association. The article focuses on the differences between state and federal jury trials.

Throughout the article, the authors compare various aspects of the state and federal judicial systems, including the right to a jury in a civil case, jury venire, jury selection, number of jurors, preemptory challenges, alternate jurors, number of jurors needed for a verdict, and time permitted for trials. For example, the authors discuss the “liberal and probing”  jury selection process that trial lawyers are guaranteed by California statutes versus the brief, or occasionally non-existent, voir dire in federal practice. They also point out that there are 12 jurors in state court and between six and 12 in federal court, with the requirement of nine jurors to reach a verdict in state court as opposed to a unanimous verdict of all jurors, regardless of the number, in federal court.

In noting the importance of understanding the differences among state and federal courts, the authors explain that “trial lawyers need to be well informed about the different aspects of each judicial system so that they can find the best strategy for the client.”

Mr. Porter is a member of Lewis Brisbois’ General Liability Practice and holds the rank of Advocate with the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA). With 45+ years of jury trial experience in California state and federal courts, he has handled more than 50 jury trials and has successfully litigated numerous matters against some of the most experienced civil rights attorneys in California. Mr. Porter's practice focuses on the defense of law enforcement officers and law enforcement agencies against allegations of false arrest, false imprisonment, civil rights violations, excessive force, wrongful death, assault and battery, and other police misconduct.

Ms. Carroll, who holds a law degree from Southwestern Law School, is a litigation paralegal who has broad experience in federal civil suits.

You can read the full Riverside Lawyer Magazine article here at page 18.


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