Saturday, September 29, 2012

Brumbaugh gets to the jury box

Macomb County’s chief legal counsel,  George Brumbaugh, almost got picked for a jury for a big criminal trial only a quick walk from his office in downtown Mount Clemens.
Brumbaugh said he “made it to the box,” referring to the jury box, for the trial of Stanley and Vita Duncan, who are accused of criminal sexual conduct related to the day-care center they ran in Fraser, a case I’m following for The Macomb Daily.
The judge, Matthew Switalski, coincidentally served as Brumbaugh’s law clerk years ago.
During questioning of potential jurors in the crowded courtroom last week, Switalski slyly asked Brumbaugh, “Who was the best law clerk you ever had?”
Brumbaugh said he hesitated, feigned conflicted consideration. “I don’t know, maybe you, judge,” he recounted with a laugh.
“It was all in levity,” he said.
Stanley Duncan’s attorney, Timothy Barkovic, requested a sidebar discussion among the lawyers and judge, and Brumbaugh was removed from the jury pool.
Brumbaugh has known Barkovic for 30 years, but likely the main reason he was let go was because defense attorneys and prosecutors don’t like to have an attorney on a jury because he or she likely would wield too much influence as other members would look to them.
Brumbaugh said he wouldn’t mind to have sat on the jury and would have been able to fairly consider whether the defendants are guilty or not.


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