Saturday, August 25, 2007

"Jury Duty" Coming to TV

What do Phyllis Diller, Ed Begley Jr., Bruce Vilanch, Paula Poundstone, and Dick Van Patten have to do with trial practice?

They are among the celebrity jurors who'll be on a new syndicated show, "Jury Duty," due for release on Sept. 17. Celebs called for 'Jury Duty,' Hollywood Reporter, July 9, 2007.

The reality show will have a three-person jury consider small claims. If the jury can't agree, then the case will be decided by the judge, Bruce Cutler.

Mr. Cutler is also the lead defense attorney for Phil Spector in his murder trial. He made news by leaving the trial in order to film some episodes of the TV show.

Cutler vowed Monday to deliver the closing argument in the Spector trial even though he will not have been in court for much of the defense case. * * *

Cutler might not be breaking any ethical rules by taping the show during the trial, but “it’s certainly unorthodox,” Loyola University Law School professor Laurie Levenson said.

“The ethical question is ‘Can he still reach the level of competence needed to represent a client on a murder charge?”’ Levenson said. “If he’s super lawyer and he can do it, he won’t be violating ethics, but he certainly will raise some eyebrows.”
Lawyer leaves murder trial to tape TV show, LJ World, July 4, 2007.

The trial continues, by the way. On Thursday, the prosecution was presenting rebuttal evidence. For accounts of this celebrity trial, see Court TV, the L.A. Times, or Rolling Stone's blog, The Phil Spector Trial: We Watch Court TV So You Don't Have To.

Thanks: National Center for State Courts, Jur-E Bulletin 08-24-2007.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

If you can tell the judge to act like a judge and not an idiot who can't stop talking long enough to listen to a defendent's testimony I would be pleased. I can't believe that he is a real judge - he is rude and obnoxious far too many times - then he can be facetiously "kind" to some plaintiffs. Good thing the show goes on at 2 AM in Connecticut -- I'm usually asleeep by then !