JUDGE LEONARD DAVIS FROM EASTERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS IS FOURTH TO ISSUE RULES RELATING TO MOCK TRIALS, FOCUS GROUPS
Judge Leonard Davis of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Texas followed three of his colleagues in issuing a standing order governing trials of cases where the litigants have conducted mock jury research. Because the Eastern District is a popular venue for patent litigation, the federal bench has become concerned that the jury pool will be tainted, especially given the sparse population of the region.
Judge Davis’ order, which tracks the orders issued by Judges Everingham, Ward, and Folsom, requires parties to retain certain identifying information of the participants of mock trials, focus groups, or similar studies. If a case goes to trial, the party or parties conducting the studies are to advise the other parties at least ten days before the pre-trial conference, and are to check the jury list against the list of study participants. The parties are also required to provide the judge with a copy of the list of participants for an in camera review.