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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:During voir dire in this medical malpractice suit, counsel asked, “Is there anybody here that feels that you could not sit on a medical case and make a decision as to whether the doctor acted within or below the standard of care?” In the discussion that followed, it was revealed that veniremember 25 was an attorney who defended medical malpractice suits. Counsel asked juror 25, “You feel like you would tend to look at it from their perspective as more of the plaintiff’s [sic] perspective?” Juror 25 answered, “I think it would be natural.” The trial court denied the Bakers’ challenge for cause to veniremember 25, as well as challenges to veniremembers 31 and 34. The trial court rendered judgment on the jury’s take-nothing verdict in favor of the physician. On appeal, the Bakers argued that veniremembers 25, 31 and 34 were biased as a matter of law and should have been excluded for cause. The court of appeals agreed that veniremember 25 was biased as a matter of law, reversed the trial court’s judgment, and remanded the case for a new trial. The court of appeals did not consider whether veniremembers 31 and 34 were also biased. HOLDING:Reversed and remanded. Veniremember 25 protested when counsel suggested that perhaps, in his mind, the plaintiffs were “starting out a little behind.” He further explained that he “would do [his] best to be objective.” The veniremember’s most “biased” statements were his affirmative answers to leading questions suggesting that, because of his career as a defense attorney, he could relate to the defendants’ attorneys and might see things more from the defendants’ perspective. Having a perspective based on “knowledge and experience” does not make a veniremember biased as a matter of law. Taken as a whole, veniremember 25′s statements reflect more of an attempt to “speak the truth” so that the examining counsel could intelligently exercise peremptory challenges rather than reflecting any genuine bias. He twice reminded the examining counsel, “[i]f I were in your shoes, I would want to know that I have spent most of my professional career on the defense side.” The Bakers argue that Shepherd v. Ledford, 962 S.W.2d 28 (Tex. 1998), is indistinguishable. In Shepherd, counsel asked the venire panel whether anyone, “based upon your past experience, you could not be fair and objective . . . .” Veniremember Somerville answered in the affirmative and was struck. Then, veniremember Guerra stated, “I feel the same way.” The court held that the trial court erred in denying the motion to strike Guerra. It was Guerra’s agreement with counsel’s suggestion that he could not be fair and objective that proved his bias. His other comments merely explained the reasons behind his bias. Here, the veniremember disagreed with every suggestion that he could not be fair and objective. His answers do not reflect a disqualifying bias, the court concludes. OPINION:Per curiam. Johnson, J., did not participate in the decision.

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