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Lawyers could learn from juror process

A controlled glimpse into the juror process would be beneficial to counsel handling civil cases, Toronto critical injury lawyer John McLeish tells Lawyers Weekly.

In the social media age, Canadian jurors and the legal community at large are divided on whether they can legally discuss the process, their deliberations, and their verdict in civil trials, the article says.

The Criminal Code makes it clear that jurors cannot discuss cases during the trial or after a verdict has been rendered, but when it comes to civil cases, Lawyers Weekly reports, several provinces are mute on the issue.

Certain jurisdictions, including Manitoba, the Northwest Territories, Ontario, and Alberta, have legislation in place barring jurors from speaking out, the article says, while other provinces, including B.C., Nova Scotia, and Saskatchewan, do not have juror silence enshrined in legislation.

McLeish, a partner with McLeish Orlando LLP, says learning more about the juror process would be eye-opening for lawyers.

“It would be very educational for the lawyers, the judge and the system generally to learn how jurors make decisions. That would benefit everybody,” he says in the article, noting he once had the rare opportunity to have an open exchange with jurors after a settlement in his case was reached before the verdict was handed down. “They had some questions, and we had some questions. That was fantastic.”

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