Willamette Law Online

United States Supreme Court Certiorari Granted


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WARGER, GREGORY P. V. SHAUERS, RANDY D.

Summarized by: 

Date Filed: March 3, 2014
Case #: 13-517
Court Below: 721 F.3d 606 (8th Cir. 2013)
Full Text Opinion: http://media.ca8.uscourts.gov/opndir/13/07/121846P.pdf

Evidence: Whether Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) permits the use of statements made during jury deliberations to prove a juror lied during voir dire.

Petitioner sued Respondent for damages incurred in a car accident. Subsequent to the jury deciding in Respondent's favor, a juror met with Petitioner's attorney and revealed that during deliberations the jury foreperson stated that if her daughter had been the cause, it would have ruined her daughter's life if she had been sued. 

Based on this statement, the Petitioner asked the district court for a mistrial on the grounds that the juror had lied during voir dire. The district court denied the Petitioner's motion for a new trial stating that Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) prohibits the introduction of juror testimony about statements made "during jury deliberations during an inquiry into the validity of [the] verdict." Petitioner appealed to the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals who also rejected Petitioner's argument that the statement was being used to prove a juror lied during voir dire not to question the verdict. In its opinion the Eighth Circuit Court of Appeals noted that there was a conflict between the different circuits with the Eighth and Tenth circuits agreeing that such evidence could not be used and the Ninth and D.C. circuits who have allowed such evidence to be used.

Petitioner argues that the introduction of juror testimony about statements made during deliberation which are being introduced to show that a juror lied during voir dire should be admissible under the exception found in Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b)(2) to the prohibition in Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b). The Supreme Court granted certiorari to decide whether Federal Rule of Evidence 606(b) permits the use of statements made during jury deliberations to prove a juror lied during voir dire.