Mr. Eric Weiss is a Shareholder at the law firm of Cavitch Familo & Durkin. He is an experienced litigator who specializes in business litigation. This specialization involves employment issues, creditor’s rights, contracts, and other corporate issues.
What made him qualified to speak to attorneys on the subject of Jury Selection? Besides being named a Rising Star by Ohio Super Lawyers, Mr. Weiss has both jury and bench trial experience and has argued before numerous Ohio Courts of Appeal. He also served as Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for the Criminal Division of the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office for four years prosecuting felony cases, even including capital murder.
When asked what the most useful takeaway for litigators was, Mr. Weiss answered:
“When preparing for jury selection (aka voir dire), litigators often overlook R.C. 2313.17, which addresses among other things, “for cause” challenges to prospective jurors (presumably because most issues relating to jury selection are covered in the Civil Rules). The statute expressly identifies nine specific circumstances for which a prospective juror must be dismissed from the panel. The statute also contains a “catch-all” provision that addresses dismissal more broadly. A trial court is required to dismiss a prospective juror and may not attempt to “rehabilitate” that juror if any of the statutory circumstances are present.”
Mr. Weiss also offered this great tip:
“Jurors pay close attention to everything you do and say while you are in the courtroom, even while on a break/recess. They watch how you interact with and treat others – clients, opposing parties, witnesses, court staff, etc. In other words, assume that you are always “on the record” and be professional and courteous at all times.”
Great advice like this was plentiful at the Cleveland Metropolitan Bar Association’s 2019 Litigation Institute. Cady was very happy to sponsor it and make wonderful connections like Mr. Weiss and his highly regarded colleagues.