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Voir Dire, the Art of Jury Selection

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I have picked a handful of juries over the years and I must tell you that it can be one of the hardest parts of a trial for a lawyer. First off, we really do not pick the jury. The court sends out random notices to citizens that they have been selected for jury duty and tells them where and when to show up or what number to call to find out about having to show up. Then, they all go to a room and watch a video, and some get randomly called by a clerk to go to a particular court room. Perhaps more than one trial is going on in the court house. Then those random folks sit in a court room and the clerk randomly selects (in most cases) twelve of the group to get in the jury box. Frequently the judge will ask several questions and he may excuse some of those folks only to have the clerk randomly select replacements. Then, finally, the lawyers in some jurisdictions get to ask questions and strike some of those potential jurors only to have them randomly replaced by others in the room. In our question asking process we are trying to learn enough about each juror to determine if he or she has any natural biases that would negatively impact our client or benefit the other side. Since both sides of the case participate in the process, in the end we should have in theory a fairly neutral jury. Let me give you some examples of the biases we often deal with when picking a jury. I try a good many motorcycle injury related cases. Some folks think motorcyclists get what they deserve (translation= you ride you are partly at fault) when they have been injured by another motorist because motorcycles are inherently more dangerous than a car. Perhaps some of the potential jurors have had experiences not seeing motorcycles on the road and identify with the defendant and hesitate to hold the negligent driver accountable. Some folks think all motorcyclist are bad people (translation= they deserve it), like these believers have watched way to many TV shows. The same type of concern happens to the defense when you represent someone who has been injured by a large commercial truck. The fear they have is that the jurors will have a natural bias against big commercial trucks (because it makes them nervous on the road) and the bigger truck can cause serious harm (translation= they are dangerous) and it is a corporation (translation= they can afford to pay for their mistakes). It is not easy to get potential jurors to open up to you about their beliefs, particularly those beliefs that may be biases. Too, they just met you, you are a stranger, they are in front of other strangers in a place they are uncomfortable and not accustomed to. Jury selection is an art, some lawyers are naturally better communicators than others but like all things, preparation, practice and experience makes us all better.  When I talk to jurors about bias, I talk about the bias I have for a sausage biscuit over a ham biscuit. I would want to be fair if I was randomly selected to decide the winner of a breakfast biscuit contest, but if one was sausage and one was ham, as fair as I might want to be, my bias/favoritism means the sausage biscuit  is going to win, and the contestants need to know of that bias. I would be a better judge or juror for a different kind of biscuit/trial. Often if we can put our legal questions in everyday scenarios, we can learn a lot about our juries and perhaps win our clients trial.

At the Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, we are proud to participate in various community events throughout the year (especially if they involve motorcycles!). We sincerely believe that one good deed can change the world, which is why we strive to support the residents of North Carolina and South Carolina both in and out of the courtroom. Our team is always looking to partake in new and exciting events and charities that support people in need. Despite the rainy and chilly weather, our staff participated in 5 wonderful charity events this December!

28th Annual Conover School Toy Run

December 1, 2018

The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor is known for our incredible personal injury representation, our attorneys who love motorcycles, and our community involvement. We are always looking for new and better ways to improve the lives of the peoples in our communities through fundraisers, charitable events, donations, spreading awareness, and so forth. We continue our history of community involvement this weekend by hosting a Bikini Bike Wash that will benefit the Women’s Resource Center in Hickory, North Carolina!

What you should know about the Bikini Bike Wash:

  • Date: Saturday, September 1st, 2018

The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor is proud to be the sponsor of Hog Happenin', the regional bike fest, this year. For the first time in its nearly 20 year history, the event is coming to the Hickory American Legion Fairgrounds in Newton, NC. It’s scheduled for June 7-10, 2018 and features regional rides, bike shows, pull and burnout competitions, tons of good food and live music.

This is a motorcycle rally and as such will have some adult themed vendors and events that may not be suitable for younger audiences.

#5: The Giveaways

Feeling lucky? The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor will be at Hog Happenin’ with the Gator Bus and the Gator Girls doing fun giveaways all weekend long. Aside from the frequent giveaways, we will also be doing daily 50/50 raffles—with a minimum prize of $500 (Friday & Saturday)! Stop by and you might just be a winner.

Hog Happenin’ is a massive yearly event that will be taking place again this summer, June 7-10, 2018, in Newton, North Carolina. This is an opportunity for motorcycle lovers and their friends and family members to come together and have a good time. Attractions will include bike games, bike shows, local rides, barbeque, and four days of live musical entertainment.

At the Law Offices of Jason Taylor, P.C., We Love Motorcycles

Our founding attorney, Jason E. Taylor, is a big-time motorcycle lover and a member of a number of motorcyclist associations, including:

  • American Motorcyclist Association
  • Bikers and Needy Children Foundation
  • Motorcycle Riders Foundation
  • Harley Owners Groups in Charlotte and Hickory

Even more than we love motorcycles, we love serving people, and participation in Hog Happenin’ allows us to do just that. The proceeds from this 6-day event go toward the Hog Happenin’ Foundation, which seeks to provide awareness of and relief for disadvantaged members of the community, including:

The Law Office of Jason E. Taylor is known throughout communities for supporting local charities, nonprofits, and other humanitarian efforts. We are proud and excited to announce we will be one of many sponsors of an upcoming charity gala for Helping Animals To Survive (HATS), a 501c3 organization.

Key information about the HATS for Paws Gala 2018:

  • Date: Saturday, March 10th, 2018
  • Time: 6:30 PM to 10:30 PM
  • Location: Holy Spirit Catholic Church, 537 NC 16 Business, Denver, NC 28037
  • Ticket cost: $25 (prices subject to change)

HATS is all about getting community members involved with and aware of the importance of treating all animals with kindness. Whether an animal is a pet, hard-working companion, or wild, HATS and our team of Hickory personal injury attorneys believe they should be given respect and shown compassion. While HATS does not have a shelter and cannot take in animals as a rescue, it does facilitate rehoming animals, helping people find their missing pets, and assisting returning found pets to their loving owners. As a group comprised entirely of volunteers, HATS puts all donations and funds it can collect, either in day-to-day contributions or through big events like the gala, directly towards helping animals in need around their communities.

It’s the time of year to show our support for a local charity. The 6th Annual Bunny Run will occur on March 24, 2018 in support of Sipe’s Orchard Home, a transitional home for children. The Sipe’s Orchard home welcomes children and teens who are neglected, abused, homeless, or those facing behavioral problems. They first opened their doors in 1943, and have since done wonders to help children in the community. Our team at The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor, P.C. is proud to continue to participate in events to benefit this charity.

Sponsored by Blue Ridge Harley Davidson, the 6th Annual Bunny Run brings together motorcyclists and community members alike. Participants and attendees are also encouraged to donate toys and other useful items from a specified list. The children and young adults at Sipe’s Orchard Home have made a list of their most wished for items, which is displayed around town and available online.

Last year, our own Attorney Jason Taylor was 1 of 120 individuals who participated in the 5th Annual Bunny Run, and he personally donated a much-needed dishwasher to the Houston Cottage of Sipe’s Orchard Home. We hope you will join us in participating this year as we strive to break the existing participation record.

DillionA 28-year-old hard worker from right down the road in Lincolnton, North Carolina. The father of two young daughters, who enjoys riding motorcycles, cars, being outdoors and on the go. Sounds like your typical young man living a nice life, right?

Well, all that was almost taken away from Mr. Duncan one evening as he left work headed home. This is his story and his message to you.

My name is Dillon Duncan, I’m 28 years old, I’m a Heavy Equipment operator. You know like bulldozers and excavators. The really really big ones, I’m talking the kind that haul 40-100 tons. The kind we played with when we were kids. I have two daughters, one is 2 and my oldest is 8. They are the reason I keep going.

The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor is well-known throughout the Carolinas for being a team of motorcycle accident attorneys who are as passionate about riding as they are about protecting the rights of fellow motorcyclists hurt in crashes. As such, we are always looking for new ways to get involved with our communities, enjoy motorcycle culture, and generally have a great time at motorcycle-related events. January 2018 is shaping up to be an exciting month for our attorneys and staff in this regard.

American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) Meeting

Attorney Jason E. Taylor – partner and co-founder of The Law Offices of Jason E. Taylor – has been invited to an upcoming American Institute of Chemical Engineers (AICHE) meeting. It will be held on January 15th, 2018 at the popular LongHorn Steakhouse in Pineville, right near the 51 and 485 Highway crossover. The meeting will discuss various concerns regarding motorcycle safety and how emerging technology is helping save lives and prevent severe injuries. The keynote speaker – Gary Burgess – promises to make the meeting interesting and informative with his unrivaled insight and background in safety through engineering.

If you are interested in attending the AICHE meeting yourself, please click here to visit the official AICHE website and event information.

On Sunday December 4th Jason and the Gator Girls attended the Toys For Tots Bike Run in Charlotte North Carolina teaming up with the Charlotte CBA (Concerned Bikers Association) and the USMC to collect toys for the children.

The weather couldn't have been more perfect. At 11:30am the police escorts already counted over 1,000 bikes and they were still rolling in. Bikers from all over the state attended, even Mr. and Mrs. Clause rode in and helped deliver the toys!

The bikers came by "The LitiGator Tent" to sign up and collect a swag bag. We have a winner of a $100.00 Visa Gift Card and that is Jessica Vidal! Congratulations Jessica!! We already have her card in the mail to her!

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