Let’s lighten up – Here’s State Farm’s proposed Juror Questionnaire to tickle your funny bone (a Rigsby qui tam update)

It will take me all weekend to do an update on the three Katrina qui tam cases – ex rel Rigsby v State Farm, ex rel Denenea v Allstate, and ex rel Branch Consultants v Allstate et al – but  with so much serious discussion taking place on SLABBED, I thought it was time to lighten up and, since State Farm’s proposed “Supplemental Jury Questionnaire (“SJQ”)’ had me ROFLMAO, I thought it might tickle your funny bone.

As a warm up, I’ll quote from State Farm’s Motion:

Numerous Courts, including the Southern District of Mississippi, have used an SJQ to help screen potential jurors, thereby reducing the amount of time needed for live questioning of the jury venire. Here, the use of a short but pointed case-specific questionnaire would expedite the voir dire process and save valuable court time…The Court and the parties can review the prospective jurors’ written questionnaire and identify by stipulation those responding with answers requiring automatic dismissal for cause…The Rigsbys oppose the SJQ for reasons they have not shared with counsel for State Farm.

Imagine that! Anyone reading the proposed Juror Questionnaire would find the reasons the Rigsbys would oppose State Farm’s SJQ so obvious there wouldn’t be a need to share.

Question 22, for example, asks prospective jurors, “How well did FEMA handle the claims of Hurricane Katrina victims in this area?” – as if there is anyone in America (other than our President who thought “Brownie” was “doing a heck of a job”) who doesn’t know FEMA was a bigger disaster than Katrina!

State Farm’s Memorandum in Support of the Company’s motion is also good for a grin or two:

State Farm is willing to pay the cost of mailing the SJQ to and from the potential jurors and to pay for a third party to make copies of the completed SJQ’s for the Court and all parties.

The Juror Questionnaire is below the jump.

[scribd id=39366208 key=key-9bhuxn2a2rsbfzxzggt mode=list]

5 thoughts on “Let’s lighten up – Here’s State Farm’s proposed Juror Questionnaire to tickle your funny bone (a Rigsby qui tam update)”

  1. There are some skewed questions like #22, but overall, it actually contains questions that would be helpful to both sides. Given the nature of the case, Judge Senter should give both sides complete lawyer voir dire. Although the federal system is much more efficient in most ways than the state court system, the lack of lawyer voir dire in fed. ct. is problematic. Questionnaires are only good to a certain extent because they do not contain follow-up questions based on the answers of the potential jurors, which you cannot know until the question is answered.

    When the lawyers are not given full voir dire, you only get the information the judge is looking for. And sometimes that judge might be a complete ideologue; some will not even question jurors about their ability to award damages. For example, some potential jurors might say, “I could never award a plaintiff one million dollars, no matter what the evidence shows.” That juror should be excluded for cause, but if the judge does not ask the proper questions, these jurors will not be flushed out. Then there is the problem of many, many fed. judges not having had much jury experience as lawyers. They simply don’t understand the importance of letting the lawyers have unfettered voir dire.

  2. While you examine the SJQ with the eyes of an attorney, Sock, I read it as someone with considerable experience designing questionnaires for use with our state’s adult population – and, from that perspective, it’s a joke.

    A bad joke, mind you, but nonetheless a joke or what I’ll call a “Robie” – a tool to twist and distort fact in such a way that it produces invalid/unreliable data on prospective jurors.

  3. OOOOOOOOOOOwweeeeeeeeeeee Nowdy, Do I have a preformed opinion of State Farm-,i.e.”Like a bad neighbor State Farm was where?”, I certainly do caus’ they claimed that they didn’t have to match the faded color of our 2 year limited warranty,banana leaf roof! Speaking of funny and laughter I prepose that SlabbedNation have a periodic oldie but goodie awards post where members could present what posts/blogs in their mind were so true yet caused the greatest laughter,shortest yet so true blue post/blog, greatest tirade , most naive , etc.. I’ll e-mail you and Sop a classic example of what I’m taking about as I have already spoken to the blogger of the great laughter I was blessed with after reading his blog. Meanwhile, just want to say that your ( Sop’s also) posts keep everyday interesting and entertaining, yet serious and in step with your mission statement which is the rock upon which the Slabbed Nation was built. OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOwweeeeeeeeeeeee

  4. Well, seems to me, George, that a jury would have to include some who have not had satisfying experience with an insurance company as, frankly, I can’t think of a single soul that has – although State Farm would not be the only insurance company that provided an unsatisfactory experience.

    Look forward to your email and hope that one day I’ll get to see the many colors of banana leaves on your roof. Reminds me of time in my childhood when we drove past a house freshly painted a very bright blue and my dad said, “I’d rather live in than next door to it”.

  5. Note the part about the names and ages of children. It looks like a tax return so State Farm can hire assassins to kill the juror’s family if that juror gets out of line.


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