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A Better Partnership
June 19, 2013

COA finds that a question from a jury to the judge during deliberations demonstrated that attorney's comments during trial were not prejudicial

In Yost v. Falker, the Michigan Court of Appeals held that even though defense counsel made improper comments regarding the plaintiff's decision to sue, the jury was not prejudiced by his actions because it expressed a desire to compensate the plaintiff. The defense counsel repeatedly asked witnesses about the plaintiff's interactions with her lawyer, implying that it was improper for the plaintiff to consult a lawyer after an auto accident that left her with a facial scar. The jury, however, sent a note to the judge asking if they could still compensate the plaintiff even though they did not find that her scar was a permanent, serious disfigurement as required by the jury instructions. The Michigan Court of Appeals found that this note was affirmative evidence that the jury was not prejudiced by defense counsel's conduct and properly decided the case on the merits.

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