After learning that jurors had consulted a dictionary to determine the meaning of "preponderance," a New York judge has thrown out their verdict. The jury had cleared two police officers of sexually harassing two subordinates. Plaintiffs counsel moved to set aside the verdict on the basis of jury misconduct after learning that during deliberations, the jury foreman read aloud the dictionary definition. The judge agreed with the motion, finding "a sufficient likelihood that plaintiffs were prejudiced."
Judge Tosses Verdict Over Jury Use of Dictionary to Define Term
New York Law Journal
August 4, 2005
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