Nilgün Aykent Zahour

Nilgun Aykent Zahour is the Founding Attorney of SM JUROR, Inc and the host of the podcast, Juror Misconduct Law in Review. At SM JUROR, she analyzes current state and federal juror misconduct cases and provides attorneys with strategies to identify, preserve and advance juror misconduct issues at trial, and on appeal, under the abuse of discretion standard of review. She also provides CLE courses on juror misconduct law. If your trial involved juror misconduct issues, please email us at podcasts@smjuror.com so we can talk to you about it on our podcast.

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An examination of the juror misconduct issues in State v. Baumgartner, No. 46386, 2019 WL 6463113 (Idaho Ct. App. Dec. 2, 2019).

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Summary: In Episode #26 of the SM JUROR Podcast, Juror Misconduct Law in Review, Attorney Nilgün Aykent Zahour analyzes the juror misconduct issues in Unit Drilling Co. v. Gilmore, No. 13-17-00594-CV, 2019 WL 5089763 (Tex. App. Oct. 10, 2019). Issue: Does the jury’s inadvertent consideration of the defendant’s insurance policy result in prejudicial juror misconduct?

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Summary: In Episode #25 of the SM JUROR Podcast, Juror Misconduct Law in Review, Attorney Nilgün Aykent Zahour analyzes the juror misconduct issues in State v. Rojas, No. 2 CA-CR 2018-0271, 2019 WL 4051861 (Ariz. Ct. App. Aug. 28, 2019). Issue: Does the jury’s knowledge of publicized videotaped trial proceedings on social media prejudice the defendant?

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Summary: In Episode #24 of the SM JUROR Podcast, Juror Misconduct Law in Review, Attorney Nilgün Aykent Zahour analyzes the juror misconduct issues in Vasquez Juarez v. State, No. 2452, SEPT.TERM,2017, 2019 WL 4187473 (Md. Ct. Spec. App. Sept. 3, 2019). Issue: In denying defendant’s motion for mistrial, did the trial court abuse its discretion in refusing to voir dire a juror who may have known a trial witness?

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Summary: Nilgün Aykent Zahour analyzes the juror misconduct issues in State v. Kaiser, No. A17-0571, 2018 WL 2407187 (Minn. Ct. App. May 29, 2018). The issue we’re going to discuss is whether a sequestered jury’s fear of not being fed adversely influenced or pressured them in their deliberations.

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Summary: Nilgün Aykent Zahour analyzes the juror misconduct issues in Daley v. J.B. Hunt Transp., Inc., 187 Conn. App. 587, 203 A.3d 635 (2019). The issue we’re going to discuss is whether the trial court erred in declining to conduct a post-verdict evidentiary hearing to determine whether a juror, who suffered memory gaps with possible Alzheimer’s disease, was competent to serve on the jury.

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Summary: Nilgün Aykent Zahour analyzes the juror misconduct issues in Palma v. Rite Aid Corp., No. B280445, 2018 WL 3640482 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 1, 2018).  The issues we’re going to discuss are evidence of a juror’s personal experiences, factors used in rebutting the presumption of prejudice, a juror’s self-translation efforts, sleeping jurors, and jurors who would not deliberate.  

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Summary: Nilgün Aykent Zahour analyzes the juror misconduct issues in United States v. Harris, No. 15CR335-2, 2018 WL 3869579 (N.D. Ohio Aug. 15, 2018) and United States v. Harris, 881 F.3d 945 (6th Cir. 2018).  The issues we’re going to discuss are Internet research by both a juror and his girlfriend, Google search histories, colorable claims of extraneous influence, Remmer evidentiary hearings, and unsuccessful searches on the Internet and LinkedIn of parties, witnesses, attorneys and judges.

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Summary: Nilgün Aykent Zahour analyzes the juror misconduct issues in Wallace v. Superintendent Unknown Banks, No. 3:15CV669-CWR-RHW, 2018 WL 3852624 (S.D. Miss. July 9, 2018), report and recommendation adopted sub nom. Wallace v. Banks, No. 316CV00669CWRRHW, 2018 WL 3846324 (S.D. Miss. Aug. 13, 2018).  The issues we’re going to discuss are text messages to a juror, jury tampering, improper communications, and procedural bars. 

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Summary: Nilgün Aykent Zahour analyzes the juror misconduct issues in People v. Colville, No. 336405, 2018 WL 6252034 (Mich. Ct. App. Nov. 29, 2018).  The issues we’re going to discuss are juror comments made to the trial court’s law clerk and ineffective assistance of counsel claims based on trivial juror misconduct.