Common Sense - KOTA Territory News

Common Sense



Gary Jensen
Beardsley, Jensen and Von Wald

When it's your turn to be on a jury, you will be instructed that you have a "right to
consider the common knowledge possessed by all of you, together with the ordinary experiences and observations in your daily affairs of life."

Some experiences and observations are the same for everyone, of course, while others are very different. It makes for interesting discussion and debate in a jury room.

While the Judge will instruct you that you should make your decision based upon the
facts as presented in court and the law he or she instructs you on, it's important to remember that you don't have to leave your common sense behind.

The law wants you, as a juror, to use your common sense as you decide what you believe
should be done with the important case that the litigants, lawyers, and judge have entrusted to your judgment.

E-mail Gary is intended as general information on legal issues affecting us all.  This information should not be relied upon in any particular case and should never be used in lieu of consulting with an attorney.


1.      You see yet another car accident at a spot where there have been many accidents in the past and will be more accidents in the future? 


2.      You learn another person is hurt using a machine that has injured others in the past and will injure others in the future? 


3.      You watch a dangerous practice – like where a school bus parks – you know is a disaster waiting to happen?  


What should you do? 


Try to prevent the next accident, injury, and catastrophe from happening. 


How can you do that? 


Send a letter or email to those responsible – the highway department, the owner and operator of the machine, the school district - putting them on notice of the danger.


Your letter or email will either prompt a "fix" or help the next innocent victim establish liability against those who failed to act.   


Taking a few minutes to write a letter or email can have a huge impact; you can be a difference maker. 

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