July 19, 2021
The Pound Civil Justice Institute held its annual national forum of state appellate court judges to examine in-depth issues affecting civil justice in the U.S.
The one-day forum, titled “Juries, Voire Dire, Batson, and Beyond: Achieving Fairness in Civil Jury Trials”, was moderated by Steven Herman, president of the Pound Institute and partner at Herman Herman & Katz, LLC, a New Orleans law firm. The forum was held virtually, due to coronavirus concerns. Ninety-seven sitting judges from 32 States and the District of Columbia participated in the forum, along with dozens of leading academics and practitioners.
“A central goal of the civil justice system is to ensure fairness for all litigants,” says Herman. “It is critical to provide a trial environment in which litigants are treated fairly, no matter what their race, ethnicity, gender, or social status. Whether presiding over trials, reviewing cases on appeal, or acting in a rule-making capacity, judges are essential to ensure that these goals are achieved through a fair and robust jury-selection process.”
The forum featured original legal research by prominent academics, commentary by experts from both sides of the bar, and small group discussions to facilitate a deep dive into the issues raised. The Hon. Gregory E. Mize, District of Columbia Superior Court (retired), delivered an illuminating keynote address.
The Pound Civil Justice Institute is a national legal think tank created by pioneering members of the trial bar and dedicated to ensuring access to justice for ordinary citizens. Through its activities, the Institute works to give lawyers, judges, legal educators, and the public a balanced view of the issues affecting the U.S. civil justice system.
“Covid-19 has forced us to re-think the ways in which legal proceedings might best be conducted,” says Herman. “We are happy that we could contribute meaningfully to this important discussion.”