Trials are largely unpredictable. But when jury deliberations inch toward the end of the week, the chances a verdict will be delivered seems to increase exponentially, according to the legal news service Law360.
In looking at this phenomenon, the publication reached out to Bissinger Oshman Williams & Strasburger LLP co-founder David Bissinger to discuss his experiences with Friday verdicts.
Assuming the trial issues aren’t hopelessly complex, there’s a good chance the jury will come back right at week’s end, he said, noting that that Friday afternoons make for a natural psychological limit for juries, and perhaps for judges as well.
“The Friday date often happens because, you know, it just works that way,” he said. “The court will frequently have that Friday there as a date where there’s more openings, fewer motions to be heard.”
Judges may schedule a dark trial day somewhere in the middle of the week for other business, and Friday serves as a natural wrapping-up point. In these circumstances, “the Friday is a good way to sort of put the hammer on people to get it done. … There are always outliers, though and the longest trials and those with significant media attention are some of the least predictable.”
The full article, “TGIF: Why Juries Love to Start the Weekend With a Verdict,” is available here. (Subscription required.)