Juror Misconduct, Bias, and Voir Dire

Juror Misconduct, Bias and Voir Dire

Under Washington State laws, does a party waive its right to challenge a juror by failing to question him during voir dire, when that juror's misconduct prevents the party from learning of the juror's bias? Here's my point of view (NOTE: please read our DISCLAIMER before proceeding).


"Juror misconduct is a fact question within the trial court's discretion." Marin v. King County, 194 Wn.App. 795, 820 n.47 (citing Dean v. Grp. Health Coop. of Puget Sound, 62 Wn.App. 829, 837, 816 P.2d 757 (1991)). "To show misconduct, a party must prove (1) that a juror failed to answer honestly a material question on voir dire and (2) that a correct response would have provided a valid basis for a challenge for cause. Id. (citing In re Det. of Broten, 130 Wn.App. 326, 337, 122 P.3d 942 (2005) (emphasis omitted) (quoting McDonough Power Equip., Inc. v. Greenwood, 464 U.S. 548, 556, 104 S.Ct. 845, 78 L.Ed.2d 663 (1984))) (internal quotation marks omitted).


"But where a juror's misconduct prevents a party from learning of the juror's bias, the party does not waive its right to challenge him by failing to question him during voir dire." Id. (citing Broten, 130 Wn.App. at 337, 122 P.3d 942 (2005)).


If you would like to learn more, then consider contacting an experienced Washington State Employment Discrimination Attorney as soon as possible to discuss your case. Please note: the information contained in this article is not offered as legal advice and will not form an attorney-client relationship with either this author or Williams Law Group; please see our DISCLAIMER.


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