Many people wonder what happens when you draw a short tempered or ill-informed judge when your case is finally called for trial. First, my experience is that the New Jersey judiciary is of very high caliber. Most, if not all, are qualified individuals, who try very hard to get it right. Are there exceptions? Yes, as in any profession. There are judges who do not bother to read all the briefs, who make quick or wrong decisions, or who just lack experience in a particular area of the law.
When a judge empanels a jury, the question of whether the juror can be fair and impartial is always asked. Some people reply honestly that they can or cannot render a fair and true verdict. Others will state that they cannot be fair to get out of what our society considers to be a burden to be avoided. Still others will lie and promise to be fair, when they have a hidden agenda to punish what they consider to be a wrong.
The first step for any lawyer, before they set foot in a courtroom is to recognize that juror bias exists. It is real and it is palpable, but the reality of it is something that the justice system and the judge pay attention to, but only in the sense that the most egregious examples are dealt with.
The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) reports that nearly 600 car accident fatalities occur every year in New Jersey. Many of these fatalities result from driving under the influence, drowsy driving, and distracted driving. Distracted driving can mean anything from talking on a cell phone to texting or simply not paying attention. Cell phone usage has made the problem worse in New Jersey. In addition to this high number of fatalities, NJ sees more than 250,000 accidents per year, according to the NJ Department of Transportation.