There has been a lot in the news in the past few days talking about the impact Baltimore City juries have on criminal cases. There was a study done by the Abell Foundation that found that in criminal cases, juries in Baltimore County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County are three times more likely to convict than Baltimore City juries.
The response from the Baltimore City legal community has been a collective “Duh!”, because this merely confirms what we have known all along. Baltimore City juries are less trustful of police and the government, and more likely to give an individual the benefit of the doubt.
Our firm does not handle criminal cases. We only represent injury victims. But this study is useful because, in Maryland circuit courts, the civil and criminal jurors are taken from the same pool of potential jurors.
All experienced injury lawyers know that tailoring our presentation to the particular jury in the room is essential to a successful damages award. I’d argue a UM case differently in Baltimore City than in Baltimore County. An awareness of the variances between counties is also important in estimating case value. Our firm’s website has a brief discussion (scroll to the bottom for the review of counties) of the differences that may be relevant in trying a personal injury case.
Also, in a personal note, I’d like to offer congratulations to my colleague Rod Gaston on the recent publication in the MTLA’s Trial Reporter of his article on trying UM/UIM cases in Maryland since the Maurer decision. Rod will also be speaking this fall in the University of Baltimore School of Law’s A.M. Law series. His talk will address the issue of litigating defense medical examinations in Maryland. I will keep you posted for the time and date.