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Potential jurors say the darndest things. Take for instance the remarks of a Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison Palo Alto, Calif. partner who was in a jury pool last week for a high-profile murder trial in San Francisco. The attorney had asked to be dismissed from the jury pool, claiming it would be a hardship. Superior Court Judge Kevin Ryan denied the request. The attorney’s rationale was that he “was too damn busy practicing law” to be a juror, Judge Ryan said in an interview. The trouble started when the lawyer was questioned about his responses on a jury questionnaire. The attorney said he believed a defendant should be required to testify. (Fortunately for the defense bar, the partner is not a trial lawyer). The assistant district attorney asked him: “What law professor taught you” that police officers believe all defendants on trial are guilty? The attorney cited a study that had polled officers about their views of defendants. This was “taught you by hearsay?” the ADA responded. Brobeck, by the way, provides full pay and benefits to attorneys on jury duty for up to three months. “I take seriously my civic obligation and wouldn’t mind serving on a jury for a week or two,” the attorney said in an interview. But he added that being on a jury for a month would make it difficult to service his clients. The attorney got what he wanted, though, as the prosecutor and defense attorney stipulated to remove him from the jury lineup.

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