Pittsburgh Legal Back Talk

Legal topics of interest to lawyers and consumers with a Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania focus.

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The Super Bowl Effect.

Posted By Cliff Tuttle | January 30, 2011

No. 572

Judge Jeffrey Manning ordered jury selection in the Orie trial delayed from February 7 to February 8 because the Steelers play in the Super Bowl the night before. The Judge’s stated reason was that there might be celebrations occurring that day. The unstated reason, of course, is that there might be celebrations occurring the night before and it is hard enough to get up on a cold February Monday when you haven’t been drinking and raising hell the night before. That applies to judges and court personnel as well as jurors.

But now that he’s brought up the subject, what effect will the Super Bowl have on this and other trials?  Bear in mind that (shudder!) the Steelers could lose.  Will the euphoria of a win or the black funk of a loss carry over to the outcome of trials?  If so, who benefits?  Would a Steeler victory put jurors in a kindly frame of mind?  Or would the frustration of a loss cause them to punish whoever is unlucky enough to get in their way?

If there is a victory celebration, it will happen on Tuesday or Wednesday.  The parade will pass the court house. Jurors will have a hard time getting to and from the courthouse.  At lunch time, the restaurants will be overcrowded.  There will be bullhorns and amplification systems.  What kind of distraction will this be?  Will courts adjourn while all this commotion is going on? Should they?



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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