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Jury Duty: Whom Do You Trust?

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | June 25, 2009

Posted by Cliff Tuttle (c) 2009

An eminent Harvard Economics Professor of high reputation complained loudly in his blog that he was struck from a jury panel in a medical malpractice case. Greg Mankiw stated that he wanted to know why being an economist disqualifies him for jury service and whether this says something about jury selection that ought to be fixed.

Fair question. I asked the same question myself when struck from a panel on a DUI case.

There is no single answer of course. The attorney who struck him from the jury might have disliked his personality. Some people can come across as a know-it-all or worse.

But, chances are, he was struck for the same reason that the DA struck me from the DUI jury. He can’t trust either of us, with our special expertise, not to unduly influence the other jurors.

Just consider some of his recent blog posts: “Can Better Prevention Save Healthcare Costs?“; “International Healthcare Comparisons”; “CBO on the Healthcare Bill”; “Is Increasing Health Spending Optimal?”.

Would you want a health care economics expert on your medical malpractice jury? Not me. No matter what side I represent, not me.

So don’t be offended, Professor. Take it as a compliment.



CLIFF TUTTLE has been a Pennsylvania lawyer for over 45 years and (inter alia) is a real estate litigator and legal writer. The posts in this blog are intended to provide general information about legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus. However, this information does not constitute legal advice and there is no lawyer-client relationship created when you read this blog. You are encouraged to leave comments but be aware that posted comments can be read by others. If you wish to contact me in privacy, please use the Contact Form located immediately below this message. I will reply promptly and in strict confidence.

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