Ca. Lawyer Hiring Mistrial Jurors As Consultants


California jury duty pays $15 a day, a small sum compared to the $50-an-hour consultant fee a defense attorney there is willing to pay jurors who were deadlocked in his client's first trial, says the American Bar Association Journal. Joseph Cavallo of Irvine, Ca., representing one of three defendants, has hired seven former jurors to be consultants for the next trial, a case involving an alleged gang rape in Orange County. He hopes to eventually hire all 12.

Cavallo represents Gregory Scott Haidl, who is accused of drugging a 16-year-old girl, raping her while she was unconscious, and videotaping the event. The defense has maintained that the girl was pretending to be unconscious during the taping and had consented to the acts. Several lawyers say they are unaware of any cases in which jurors from a mistrial were hired as consultants for the next case. “I've never heard of it before, but it sounds like it's going to be a new cottage industry-and I don't like it,” says Albert J. Krieger of Miami. Jury deliberations, he says, should not be subject to any sort of invasion. “Of course, I would like to know how various bits of evidence hit the jury, but I think that the system, in order to preserve the sanctity of what takes place in the jury room, should frown on the use of jurors for that purpose,” he says. Tony Rackauckas, the district attorney of Orange County, says his office would like to bar parties in a mistrial from retaining the jurors as consultants. “If it got to be common for one party or another to hire jurors from a case, that would be bad because it would put in a financial motive for jurors to vote in a certain way,” he says.


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