Legal & Safety Blog
By Matthew Devoti
The constitutional principle permitting each of us the ability to present disputes to a “jury of our peers” took on special meaning for me this week. I tried a case to a jury. The trial was in the City of St. Louis. The City is my hometown.
The trial convened on Monday. By mid-morning, 42 people from my community assembled in a courtroom on the fifth floor of the Civil Courts Building in downtown St. Louis. Each of these individuals took time from their lives in service to their fellow citizens. None of them knew the dispute which brought them to the courthouse when they walked into the courtroom.
Eventually, the court sat 12 folks. Each took an oath to keep an open mind, listen to the evidence, and refrain from independent research. Those individuals who walked into the courtroom hours earlier became our jury at that moment.
For two days the jury listened to the evidence presented them by counsel. The jury heard from six witnesses, including a neurologist and two police officers, and considered a dozen plus exhibits ranging from photographs to a model of the human spine to charts to City ordinances. The case became entirely there’s early Wednesday afternoon when the jury retired to its room to debate the evidence and render a verdict.
I’m sure that by now all twelve of our jurors have returned to the routine of their lives. My case may never again cross their minds. But, their service was invaluable. Their time, energy and collective efforts allowed one man and his family closure, the opportunity to close a chapter in their lives and move forward. For that, we’re grateful.
Matt Devoti is a Partner with Casey & Devoti, a St. Louis-based personal injury law firm. Together he and his law partner, Matt Casey, have nearly 40 years of trial experience. They handle a variety of personal injury matters, including: car, truck and train accidents, victims of impaired and distracted driving, medical malpractice and birth injuries, product liability, slips/trips/falls, elder care and sexual abuse, Workers’ Compensation, and wrongful death. Matt and Matt proudly serve clients throughout metropolitan St. Louis, southeastern Missouri and southern Illinois. If you or a loved one have been injured by the negligence of another, call the office today for a free, no-obligation consultation: (314) 421-0763.