Hi all. I would like to thank Ms Lisa Riley for all her help with my legal issues this past month. It was the most harrowing experience of my life and thanks to her expertise, professionalism and knowledge of the law, I came out almost unscathed. I have no hesitation in recommending Lisa Riley and Armstrong Legal if you need help. The service is amazing and the cost was very minimal for the great outcome. Thank you Lisa for helping me in the most difficult time.
I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart. My whole life I was thrown away, you made me feel like I did mean something. I could not have asked for a better lawyer. Your compassion and love for your job is inspiring. Your upfront and honesty were muchly appreciated, you are a beautiful person. Thank you for not giving up on me and thank you for all the work you put in. I wish you all the best for the future and I will be recommending you to everyone I know. You're amazing!!!!
I just wanted to thank you for representing me on Monday, I was overjoyed & relieved with the outcome. I don’t think it could have gone any better. All the best, I hope you got to celebrate this one instead after work, you forever made a difference in my life.
I know I thanked you before we parted company but please allow me to reiterate in writing my sincere deepest thanks for defending me in court today. … Armstrong Legal certainly has a great Lawyer you are a credit to the company and I'm quite sure you will secure a very successful future! … My Kindest Regards and Thanks
Throughout Angela has been the consummate professional. She maintained a calm, yet strong demeanour remained informative and completely open in her communication and took complete ownership of the situation. We felt confident we finally had an advocate to steer us out of the nightmare we were in, and she did so with great respect and sincerity. I cannot speak more highly of Angela. She has literally rescued our family from what looked very much like a hopeless future.
Words can’t describe how grateful I am to Trudie Cameron being my solicitor and to Andrew Tiedt presenting my case in the court. They both have been very supportive and amazingly professional and effective. I’ve got an absolutely fantastic outcome I couldn’t even dream about.
Soon after meeting Andrew I knew he was the solicitor I wanted to handle my matter. He immediately sprang into action which brought me stability and hope during a tumultuous time in my life. Andrew was never afraid to give me straight answers to my tough questions which is a true mark of integrity. He is clearly at ease in the court environment and I believe his calm and measured demeanour went a long way to helping me secure the best result from my day in court. I would certainly recommend you approach Andrew if you need assistance.
"Andrew Tiedt was very professional and considerate to personal circumstances and gave sound advice that resulted in the best outcome possible. Highly recommended."
Jury Service (Qld)
In Queensland, juries are used to decide the outcomes of both civil and criminal trials. Criminal trials are decided by a jury of 12 jurors and civil trials by four jurors. Jurors are selected randomly from the electoral roll and potential jurors are sent a letter with a questionnaire to determine whether they are eligible for jury service. If a person is selected for jury service, they are required to attend court for empanelment. Those jurors who are empanelled are then allocated to a trial.
Juries are governed by the Jury Act 1995. Jurors do not decide questions of law or what sentencing orders a court should make; they only decide whether the defendant is guilty (or in a civil trial, who is at fault). Jurors are remunerated for the time they spend on jury service.
Who is eligible for jury service?
A person is ineligible for jury duty if they:
- are a member of parliament, a councillor, a mayor or the governor;
- are a lawyer or member of the judiciary;
- have been a police officer;
- are a detention centre employee or corrective services officer;
- cannot read and write English;
- have a disability that means they are incapable of performing as a juror;
- have been convicted of an indictable offence;
- are over 70, unless they have elected to be eligible for jury duty;
- have been sentenced to a term of imprisonment.
Who may be excused from jury service?
It is possible to apply to be excused from jury service either permanently or for a specified period. Section 21 of the Act provides that a potential juror can be excused if:
- jury service would cause substantial hardship to the person because of their employment or personal circumstances;
- jury service would cause them substantial financial hardship;
- jury service would cause substantial inconvenience to the public;
- others are dependent on the person’s care and suitable alternative care is not available;
- the person needs to be excused for health reasons.
Selection of jurors
In a trial, both parties are entitled to a specified number of peremptory challenges of potential jurors as well as being allowed to challenge a potential juror for cause. A peremptory challenge is a challenge where the challenging party does not have to give a reason. A challenge for cause may be made because a person is not eligible to serve on a jury or because the person is not impartial.
In a civil trial, each party gets two peremptory challenges and is allowed additional challenges if reserve jurors are to be selected (Section 42).
In a criminal trial, the prosecution and defence are each given eight peremptory challenges, with additional challenges allowed if reserve jurors are to be selected (Section 42).
The court must inform the accused that they may challenge the selection of a juror before the juror is sworn in (Section 39). A party may challenge the entire jury panel by informing the judge of their objection before any juror is sworn in (Section 40). It is not permissible for a person selected for jury duty to be asked questions to establish how they are likely to react to issues in a trial unless the judge authorises this (Section 31).
Restriction on communication
While a jury is kept together a person who is not part of the jury must not communicate with them without the judge’s permission (Section 54). A breach of this provision amounts to contempt of court.
Accommodation during jury service
While a jury is kept together outside the courtroom, the jurors must be in a private place and supervised by a court officer or otherwise as the judge directs (Section 55).
Discharge or death of juror
A judge may discharge a juror, after they have been sworn in if:
- it appears that the person is not impartial;
- they become incapable of acting as a juror;
- they become unavailable for reasons the judge assesses as adequate.
If a juror dies or is discharged before the start of the trial, the judge may direct that another juror be sworn in (Section 56).
If in a civil trial the jury fails to reach a unanimous verdict after six hours, they may be discharged. If the jury has not reached a unanimous verdict after six hours, the court can accept a minority verdict of three of the jurors as the verdict of the jury with the agreement of both parties.
Verdicts in criminal matters for particular offences must be unanimous. In other criminal matters, the judge is allowed to accept a majority verdict
If you require legal advice in relation to jury service or in any other legal matter please contact Armstrong Legal.
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WHERE TO NEXT?
If you suspect that you may be under investigation, or if you have been charged with an offence, it is vital to get competent legal advice as early as possible. Our lawyers are highly specialised in criminal law and will be able to guide you through the process while dealing with the various authorities related to your matter.
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