by | last updated on July 19, 2018

After his client, John Goodman the multi-millionaire founder of the International Polo Club, was found guilty and sentenced to 16-years in prison for DUI manslaughter, nationally renown Miami-based criminal defense attorney extraordinaire, Roy Black never gave up.  Proving that hard work and going the extra mile pays off, on May 3, Palm Beach County Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Colbath granted Black’s motion for new trial based on grounds that Goodman’s trial was contitutionally impermissible due to juror misconduct.This was not Black’s first attempt to seek a new trial for Goodman.  In April 2012, Black sought to get a new trial for his client  based on juror misconduct.  “Apparently, Roy [Black] investigated the members of the jury to see if any of them lied  during jury selection,” said Fort Lauderdale DUI defense lawyer Robert Malove.  “Roy Black is one of, if not, the premiere criminal defense lawyer in the country. When I was an Assistant Public Defender in the ’80’s, I used to sit in the back of the courtroom to watch him in action.  Success leaves clues, why not watch the best?” Malove said.At the hearing on the first motion for new trial, evidence was presented that juror Dennis DeMartin, wote a book and conducted a drinking experiment during jury deliberations.  Although not pleased with DeMartin’s conduct, Colbath denied the motion.  DeMartin wrote in his book about his wife drinking, getting into an accident and being arrested for DUI.  When questioned during jury selection DeMartin did not disclose this information. Black’s second motion for new trial was based on DeMartin’s failure to disclose this information when asked.The lying about his wife drinking, getting into an accident and being arrested for DUI, however, was just too much for the judge to overlook and left him with no alternative other than to grant Black’s motion. “A defendant is entitled to a fair trial, not a perfect one,” Circuit Court Judge Jeffrey Colbath wrote in his order granting the motion for new trial. “The cumulative effects of DeMartin’s antics, however, have transformed an imperfect but fair trial into a constitutionally impermissible proceeding.”

“The Defendant contends, and this Court finds, that DeMartin concealed highly relevant information, namely, that his ex-wife had been convicted of a DUI,” Colbath wrote.  The next issue the court had to determine was if knowledge of the undisclosed information made a difference in the case. Colbath wrote, “[t]he Court finds the answer to this question is yes. This is a case involving a DUI Manslaughter and potential jurors experience with DUI charges would be paramount in the mind of any lawyer picking a jury.”

“To allow this conviction to stand, in light of the strength of Dennis DeMartin’s participation, would erode the integrity of the judicial system,” Colbath wrote. “Every person charged with a crime deserves a fair trial without the likes of Dennis DeMartin.”

“A juror who deceives to get on a jury in a high profile case for his own profit is a trial lawyer’s worst nightmare,” Black wrote in a statement. “Fortunately, this time the deception was exposed and a courageous judge set aside the verdict.”

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