Targeting Jury's 'Reptile' Brains Not Enough For Mistrial

Law360 (November 7, 2019, 8:07 PM EST) -- A Massachusetts judge correctly found that the attorney for a woman who broke a tooth on a Wendy’s hamburger improperly appealed to the jury's “reptile” brains in his closing remarks, a state appellate panel ruled Thursday. But the judge went too far by ordering a new trial after the jury returned its verdict.

The Massachusetts Appeals Court said Superior Court of Suffolk County Justice Heidi E. Brieger applied the wrong standard when she ordered a new trial over the closing remarks from Meaghan Fitzpatrick’s attorney, Matthew Fogelman. Justice Brieger found that the attorney played on jurors' primitive fears, passions and prejudices...

Stay ahead of the curve

In the legal profession, information is the key to success. You have to know what’s happening with clients, competitors, practice areas, and industries. Law360 provides the intelligence you need to remain an expert and beat the competition.

  • Access to case data within articles (numbers, filings, courts, nature of suit, and more.)
  • Access to attached documents such as briefs, petitions, complaints, decisions, motions, etc.
  • Create custom alerts for specific article and case topics and so much more!