1 Masters of the Courtroom SM Jury Selection The Hon. Lance M. Africk, USDC EDLA Russ M. Herman, Herman, Herman & Katz R. Keith Jarrett, Liskow & Lewis Course Number: Hours of CLE December 11, :00 11:30 a.m.
2 Lance M. Africk received a Bachelor of Arts and Laws degree from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 1973, and his Jurist Doctorate degree from the University of North Carolina Law School at Chapel Hill in Following a judicial clerkship, and several years in private practice, Judge Africk served as the Chief of the Career Criminal Bureau for the Orleans Parish District Attorney s office and the Chief of the Criminal Division for the United States Attorney s office in New Orleans. In 1990, he was appointed a United States Magistrate Judge. On April 17, 2002, he was confirmed as a United States District Judge for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Judge Africk is an adjunct professor of law at Tulane University Law School and former president of the Allstate Sugar th Bowl. Judge Africk also currently serves on the 5 Circuit Committee on Criminal Pattern Jury Instructions. Judge Africk was appointed by Chief Justice Rehnquist to the Judicial Conference Committee on Criminal Law and he was reappointed to that committee by Chief Justice Roberts, his term ended on October 1, He was inducted into the Louisiana Justice Hall of Fame in July, 2011.
3 RUSS M. HERMAN 820 O'Keefe Avenue, New Orleans, Louisiana Telephone (504) , Facsimile (504) BIOGRAPHY RUSS HERMAN is a Senior Partner in the firm of Herman Herman, & Katz LLP of New Orleans, Louisiana. He graduated from Tulane University with a B.A. Degree and L.L.B. in In 1977, he was chosen Outstanding Trial Lawyer by the Louisiana Trial Lawyers Association, and was LTLA President in He has authored over 200 articles, papers and books in various aspects of Civil Trial Practice and has been published in various works including Am Jur; Trials; Shepard's/McGraw Hill; The National Business Institute; Trial Magazine; The Forum; and Personal Injury Annual by Matthew Bender. Mr. Herman has served on the faculty of the Practicing Law Institute - The National College of Trial Advocacy and has lectured at Tulane, L.S.U., Loyola, Georgetown, Hastings and other law schools. Mr. Herman served as President of the (ATLA) Association of Trial Lawyers of America ( ); President of the Civil Justice Foundation ( ); and President of the Roscoe Pound Foundation ( ). He is a Diplomate of the American Board of Professional Liability attorneys; a Diplomate of the National College of Advocacy, a Fellow and Director of the International Academy of Trial Lawyers, a member of the American Board of Trial Advocates (ABOTA),a Fellow of the International Society of Barristers, a Barrister of the American College of Barristers. In July of 2001, Mr. Herman was selected for The Leonard M. Ring Champion of Justice Award, which is the highest honor bestowed by ATLA. He has also received the ATLA Lifetime Achievement Award (1999) and the Joe Tonahill Award (1998); Pursuit of Justice Award (American Bar Association Tort Trial & Insurance Practice Section (TIPS) 2005). The Federal Bass Association Professionalism Award (EDLA-2009). Mr. Herman has been selected for listing by Naifeth and Smith in their book Best Lawyers in America in Personal Injury, Maritime, Complex Litigation and Appellate Trial Practice areas. He is the author and performer of ATLA s best selling, 6-Volume Video Trial Practice Series, Courtroom Persuasion: Art, Drama & Science and a 443-page book by the same title published by West Group, Clark Boardman Thomson and ATLA Press and is the author for West Group s two-volume series Louisiana Personal Injury. The National Law Journal named Mr. Herman as one of Louisiana s top ten litigators and the American Law Journal highlighted Mr. Herman in its June 1999 issue, and Fortune Magazine featured his litigation accomplishments in the July 3, 2000, issue.
4 In April 2003, the Third Edition of Chamber s USA America s Leading Business Lawyers ( ) listed Mr. Herman as the leading individual trial lawyer in Louisiana in General and Commercial Litigation and he has been listed in the top tier lawyers continuously. Peer comments from 2004 through 2012 have described him thus: firm Extraordinarily talented Russ Herman - was singled out for his trial skills ; Russ Herman s tenacity personified in the eyes of commentators ; Is phenomenal in Court which sees him involved in a great deal of national litigation cases ; Hugely amicable personality before juries. A star both at the Bar and in his Best Lawyers In America continuously since 1 st publication in Personal Injury ; Maritime ; Complex Litigation ; and Appellate Practice ; As tenacious as a Bulldog ; Smart and Highly Able In 2004, a jury returned a $591,000,000 verdict in Scott v American Tobacco, et al. ( , Orleans Parish, Civil District Court). Mr. Herman was lead trial counsel in this case. Mr. Herman is Court Appointed: Liaison and Lead Counsel in In Re: Propulsid: MDL 1355 case; Liaison Counsel and Member of PSC Executive Committee in In Re: Vioxx: MDL1657; Appointed as Liaison Counsel In Re: Chinese Drywall: MDL Mr. Herman as Liaison Counsel and lead negotiator, was successful in concluding a $4.85 billion dollar settlement with Merck. Since 2005, Mr. Herman has been selected from over 15,000 nation-wide nominees as one of American s 500 Leading Lawyers and Jurists by Lawdragon publications and since 2005, as one of America s Top 500 Litigators. From 2007 to date, he was selected by The Legal 500" as one of the 500 top litigators in the country. In December 2007, was selected by Lawyers Weekly, USA as Lawyer Of The Year. In was selected as one of the Top 100 Trial Lawyers in the country by the American Trial Lawyers Association. In 2009, The Federal Bar Association (EDLA) selected Mr. Herman to receive the John R. Martzell Professionalism award. The selection committee was composed of Federal Judges and lawyers. In November, 2009, Russ was named the Best Lawyers 2010 New Orleans Personal Injury Litigator of the Year. In 2010, was named New Orleans Best Lawyers - Appellate Lawyer of the Year. Mr. Herman s most recent publication: Courtroom Persuasion II, Winning with Art, Drama and Science, 653pp was released by West Group on March 28, On April 22-23, 2010, Russ was honored at the Induction Ceremony of The American Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame during the Mass Torts Made Perfect Seminar at the Wynn Las Vegas Hotel. Our website is On March 22, 2013, Russ was honored and Inducted into the Tulane University Law School Hall
5 of Fame at the Westin Canal Place, New Orleans, La. In August of 2013, the International Global Law Experts Awards recognized Mr. Herman as a Commercial Litigation Lawyer of the Year in Louisiana. In 2014, Mr. Herman was recognized in the 20 th Edition of The Best Lawyers in American for the practice areas of Admiralty and Maritime Law, Appellate Practice, Mass Tort Litigation, Class Actions - Plaintiffs, Personal Injury Litigation - Plaintiffs. Additionally, being included for at least 30 years.
6 Mr. Keith Jarrett is the firm's president and managing partner. He handles litigation primarily in the areas of maritime and oilfield torts and contracts. His trial experience includes major well blowouts, pipeline damage, wrongful death and personal injury claims (both land-based and maritime), vessel allisions, environmental clean-up litigation, and class-action defense. He also has extensive experience in litigating explosions, insurance and indemnity disputes, engineering malpractice, vessel construction, and reservoir damage. Mr. Jarrett also has proficiency in construction disputes, specifically with vessels and property, building defects and design errors, and products liability litigation. His practice involves both the defense and pursuit of coverage litigation, and suits involving state and federal agencies. In non-litigation matters, he advises clients on insurance and indemnity provisions, and Jones Act and offshore regulations. Mr. Jarrett has handled and tried numerous cases and appeals in both the Louisiana and Texas state and federal courts, and in arbitration. A graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy, Mr. Jarrett served aboard multiple merchant ships prior to attending law school. After law school, he worked as a law clerk to the Honorable Alvin B. Rubin, Circuit Judge, United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit, from , before joining Liskow & Lewis.
7 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA EVA DOZIER CIVIL ACTION NO VERSUS SECTION: I XYZ PARISH SCHOOL BOARD Plaintiff, Eva Dozier, has filed a lawsuit against her local school board alleging that the board's selection process and ultimate selection of a white superintendent discriminated against plaintiff and other African American applicants. Plaintiff contends that Sharon Smith ("Smith"), a white board member and chairperson of the superintendent search committee, made racially discriminatory remarks relative to the selection process and exercised influence over other board members. Plaintiff alleges that Smith caused the board to reopen the application process and ultimately select a white candidate, James Black ("Black"), who applied and was selected once the application process was reopened. Page 1
8 The plaintiff has a long history of employment in school administration. She was principal of numerous schools for approximately twenty years and she has held a leadership position within the school board's administrative section. As stated, Smith was the chairperson of the superintendent search committee. The school board consisted of four African American members and seven white members. The board received a dozen applications, including plaintiff's application, by the initial deadline. Seven of the applicants were African American and five applicants were white. Prior to the school board's first scheduled meeting, Smith mailed letters to several of the applicants, including plaintiff, notifying them of upcoming interview schedules. Some of the letters referred to Smith as school board chairperson, which she was not, as well as chairperson of the search committee. Page 2
9 Immediately before the school board meeting and initial interviews, Smith stated to two of the African American members that she did not believe that the school system in XYZ Parish was "ready" for a minority superintendent. Smith states that she had nothing against minorities, but she did not believe that the district was ready to accept an African American superintendent. Smith also made reference to some negative history with plaintiff, although she could not recall exactly what it was. At the initially scheduled school board meeting, Smith moved to reopen the application period for an additional two weeks. The white members of the board concurred in the motion, which passed, and the African American members dissented. According to one of the African American school board members, extending the application period for an additional two weeks was a strategy designed to deny the possibility that an African American superintendent Page 3
10 would be selected. The board had previously agreed that they had enough qualified applicants. When the African American board members inquired why the application period was going to be reopened, both Smith and the other white school board members did not give a reason. The African American school board members were upset at the meeting because Smith just "took charge" of it. According to one of the African American members, Smith made it clear that plaintiff had on the job issues with other persons employed by the school board and that the community was just not ready to accept her. According to the African American members of the school board, Smith just pushed the reapplication process extension through without any debate. Smith takes the position that any remarks made by her regarding XYZ Parish not being ready to accept an African American school board superintendent were Page 4
11 misconstrued and such statements did not reflect her personal views or ultimate appointment decision. Smith is adamant that she never pressured any members of the school board to vote in a particular way on any issue pending before the board. During the extension period, the school board received eight more applications of which three were from African Americans and five were from white applicants including Black. Following interviews, the board ultimately voted along racial lines to select Black who had a PhD in education. Black had also been employed as a superintendent of a less populated parish. Plaintiff filed a complaint with the EEOC which issued her a right to sue letter. Plaintiff then filed this lawsuit. The school board, including Smith, deny all allegations made by plaintiff. The local media has been abuzz with news related to this lawsuit. Page 5
12 MASTERS OF THE COURTROOM PETIT JURY DECEMBER 11, MICHAEL MARTIN, III 55 y/o AA Male Orleans Parish Minister 3. ROBERT OLIVER, SR. 62 y/o W Male St. Tammany Parish Insurance Agent 2. AMY CHARLES 38 y/o W Female Assumption Parish Legal Secretary 4. DONNA MILLER 26 y/o AA Female Lafourche Parish Registered Nurse
13 Juror #1 Juror #1 is Michael Martin, III, an African American male, 55 years old, who resides in Terrebonne Parish. He has never been married and he has a high school diploma. He serves as a minister of a lower income congregation in Terrebonne Parish. His college degree is in theology. His church building was lost during Katrina. Although the congregation accepted the insurance company's offer of settlement, the money was not sufficient to rebuild the church as it existed before the storm. He is a member of several African American political organizations which encourage minority participation in the democratic process. Juror #1 has been in a relationship with his African American girlfriend for the past five years and he expects that they will one day marry. For the past two years, they have lived together at Juror #1's home as his girlfriend is having financial issues. According to the girlfriend, she complained to her former supervisor that she was unlawfully passed over for a
14 promotion in favor of a white female who had worked with her. The supervisor allegedly retaliated and made things so difficult for her at work that she was forced to resign. Her EEOC complaint is still pending before the EEOC.
15 Juror #2 Juror #2 is Amy Charles, a white female, 38 years old, who resides in Assumption Parish. She is married with two children, both of whom are in high school. She has a paralegal degree and she is employed by a sole practitioner as a legal secretary. Her employer practices in the areas of criminal defense and general litigation, including employment discrimination cases, representing plaintiffs. Juror #2's husband has been a police officer for 20 years. Recently, her husband, who is also white, was involved in the shooting of an African American male who was allegedly burglarizing a business. Although the African American male survived, the shooting sparked protests alleging racism. Juror #2 is concerned about the potential for criminal prosecution and the possibility that a civil lawsuit will be filed against she and her husband. She is adamant that her husband did no wrong and that he is being treated unfairly by members of the community.
16 Juror #3 Juror #3 is Robert Oliver, Sr., a white male, college graduate, 62 years old, who resides in St. Tammany Parish. He is a State Farm Insurance agent who specializes in the sale of casualty and property insurance policies. He previously served on a civil jury where the jury found no liability. He is married to a teacher at a private school. He has three children, all of whom are married and working in sales positions. He has back discomfort issues but treats with Aleve, a stiff drink, and exercise. He considers himself a workaholic. He listens to Rush radio on a daily basis. Juror #3 is very conservative on social issues and he is a fierce opponent of affirmative action.
17 Juror #4 Juror #4 is Donna Miller, an African American female, 26 years old, who resides in Lafourche Parish. She has never been married. She is a registered emergency room nurse with a college education. She is a single mom with a three year old boy. She has no contact with the boy's father and he does not support the child. She previously served as a juror in a criminal case, i.e., an armed robbery, and voted guilty. She takes daily medication for depression. When she was 12 years old, her father committed suicide as a result of financial issues following the loss of his job. Her mom worked two jobs to get her through nursing school. She hopes to get a graduate degree in nursing. She sees a chiropractor on a sporadic basis for shoulder pain resulting from an athletic injury. Juror #4 hopes to one day be the owner of a home healthcare service. Although she has encountered some speed bumps in her life, she believes in the American dream and that good things happen to those who work hard.