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Marjorie Fargo

2008 Conference


Marjorie Fargo has worked in the field of litigation since 1975, giving practical advice in hundreds of criminal and complex civil matters across the country. She was court-appointed in both capital and non-capital murder cases and has submitted affidavits and testified as an expert on jury procedures in state and Federal courts. Among Ms. Fargo’s contributions, her diligent work for defendants in capital cases was instrumental in achieving verdicts that did not result in the death penalty for her clients. While she took on some of the most demanding and difficult cases, Ms. Fargo has always maintained a positive attitude with her everlasting good spirit and sweet Georgia smile.

Ms. Fargo is a dedicated member of ASTC. She served on ASTC’s Board of Directors and assisted in drafting the jury selection section of ASTC’s Professional Code. In addition to being a highly skilled practitioner and valued member of ASTC, Ms. Fargo has given back to the field through her ability and willingness to teach attorneys and others in the profession. Her gift for teaching interview skills has benefited many of her clients and CLE attendees by showing attorneys the most effective way to probe into juror attitudes, including sensitive topics that many lawyers try to avoid. Over the years, Ms. Fargo has trained many new trial consultants to do jury work. She helped write sections of the National Jury Project’s original edition of Jurywork: Systematic Techniques and has continued to mentor interns in her private practice. As one of the field’s pioneering members, Ms. Fargo did ground-breaking work to shift the view of voir dire as a short opening statement to the prevailing view that voir dire is the best and only opportunity to identify potential cause and peremptory challenges.

Ms. Fargo’s work has impacted the justice system as a whole. She has been successful in composition challenges, uncovering the systemic nature of the underrepresentation of African-Americans in certain jury pools – a task that requires great coordination between attorneys, experts, staff, and volunteers, and an enormous amount of dedication. These efforts have had a lasting impact on jury selection procedures.

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