Duty of Citizens to Act as Jurors – Part 3

More from the standard New Jersey Jury Charges, which every judge gives to every jury in all civil cases:

This case is very important to all the parties involved. They are entitled to the full attention of the jury throughout the trial and to fair and impartial consideration of the case by the jury. It is important, therefore, that you keep an open mind about this case until the very end when you are in the jury room deliberating. You are not to make any judgments or come to any conclusions about this case, until you have heard the whole story and that means until all the evidence is presented and I have explained the law to you.

You are not to have any contact or discussions with any of the parties, their attorneys or any of the witnesses.

You are not to discuss the case with anyone or permit anyone to discuss the case with you, whether here in the courthouse or anywhere outside the courthouse. If anyone attempts to discuss this case with you or attempts to influence your judgment about the case, you are to report that to me immediately.

If you are to keep an open mind, you must not even discuss this case among yourselves until it is over and you are deliberating. That means, when you convene each morning and as you are leaving at the end of each trial day and during your recesses and breaks you are not to talk about this case among yourselves.

Do not discuss this case with anyone not on the jury. This includes your family and friends. When you go home you may tell your family you have been selected as a juror in a civil case and the expected length of the trial. You should not tell them anything more about the case. Even though a further explanation by you may begin innocently, once you finish talking the other person is not going to just stand there and say nothing. That person will say something and that response may influence your thinking. Your thinking should be influenced only by what you learn in the courtroom.

Again, many thanks to all those who have served our state by serving as jurors.