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Can jurors take notes or ask questions during trial? Would you like to learn the answer?
Come join me as I share with you this great information. Hi. I'm Gerry Oginski. I'm a
New York medical malpractice and personal injury trial lawyer practicing law here in
the state of New York. The short answer is in some courtrooms you can. In other courtrooms,
you can't. Now let me explain. Every judge is allowed to create their own rules for their
own particular courtroom. There are some judges in the state of New York in the different
counties that will allow jurors to ask questions and take notes. Those judges are few and far
between. Now why do they allow that to happen? They allow that to happen because those judges
recognize that some jurors retain information better when they are able to write notes.
Some judges want the jurors to be able to ask questions. Now how do they do that? They
don't just raise their hand or shout out "Oh by the way Mr. Attorney, I have a question!"
Instead, there's a whole procedure that has to be followed in order for the juror to ask
specific questions. So in some courtrooms the judge requires the juror -- if they have
a question -- to write it down on a piece of paper, raise their hand, let the judge
know that they have a particular question. That piece of paper then gets handed up to
the judge that then reviews it. He then discusses that question with the attorneys and if the
judge feels that question is appropriate the judge will now be the one to ask that question
of the witness. Or ask the attorneys a question. And then they'll get some type of response.
If the judge feels that the question is inappropriate, he'll simply tell the juror "I'm sorry. That's
an inappropriate question, let's move on." In other courtrooms, judges decide you know
what I don't want jurors taking notes. I want them to pay attention to what's going on.
And if at the end of the case they want something read back, we have a court stenographer (a
court reporter) who's taking down every single word here. And if they want something read
back at any time during deliberations they have the ability to write a note to the court
officer who then hands it to the judge who now will have the court reporter come back
in and bring the jury back into the courtroom and have that testimony reread word for word.
So in those instances, those judges do not allow jurors to take notes and in all likelihood
they will not allow jurors to raise their hands to ask questions as well. So why do
I share this quick information with you? I share it with you just to give you an idea
and an understanding into what goes on during the trial process involving a medical malpractice
case, involving a car accident case or even a wrongful death case. You know, I realize
you're watching this video because you do have questions about your own particular matter.
Well if your matter happened here in New York and you do have legal questions, what I encourage
you to do is pick up the phone and call me. I can answer your legal questions. This is
something that I do every single day and I welcome your call. You can reach me at 516-487-8207
or by email at Gerry@Oginski-law.com. That's it for today's quick video. I'm Gerry Oginski,
have a wonderful day!