Fiduciary Principles and the Jury

33 Pages Posted: 1 Aug 2013

See all articles by Ethan J. Leib

Ethan J. Leib

Fordham University School of Law

Michael Serota


David L. Ponet

United Nations

Date Written: July 30, 2013


This Essay argues that because jurors exercise state power with wide discretion over the legal and practical interests of other citizens, and because citizens repose trust and remain vulnerable to jury and juror decisions, juries and jurors share important similarities with traditional fiduciary actors such as doctors, lawyers, and corporate directors and boards. The paradigmatic fiduciary duties – those of loyalty and care – therefore provide useful benchmarks for evaluating and guiding jurors in their decision-making role. A sui generis public fiduciary duty of deliberative engagement also has applications in considering the obligations of jurors. This framework confirms much of what we know about the jury’s form of political representation and also recommends some practical directions for jury reform.

Keywords: jury, fiduciary law, fiduciary political theory, fiduciary duties, representation, jury nullification, deliberative democracy

Suggested Citation

Leib, Ethan J. and Serota, Michael Eli and Ponet, David L., Fiduciary Principles and the Jury (July 30, 2013). William & Mary Law Review, Vol. 55 (2014, Forthcoming); Fordham Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2303726. Available at SSRN:

Ethan J. Leib (Contact Author)

Fordham University School of Law ( email )

150 West 62nd Street
New York, NY 10023
United States

Michael Eli Serota

Independent ( email )

David L. Ponet

United Nations ( email )

New York, NY 10017
United States

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