Smith et al v. Pacific Gas & Electric Company

Filing 243

Court's Intended Voir Dire. Signed by Judge Jeffrey S. White on May 7, 2009. (jswlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 5/7/2009)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA WILLIAM A. SMITH and JOSE LEMUS, Plaintiffs, v. PACIFIC GAS AND ELECTRIC COMPANY, Defendant. / COURT'S INTENDED VOIR DIRE FOR PANEL No. C 07-02126 JSW United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 STATEMENT OF THE CASE In May 2005, after PG&E's Information Technology and Infrastructure Services Department ("ITIS") was reorganized, PG&E Manager Dave McKinnon posted a new Team Lead position in the reorganized department, to be filled internally. Three PG&E employees interviewed for the position, including the Plaintiff, Jose Lemus. McKinnon selected Diana Abinante to fill the position. Plaintiff alleges that McKinnon selected Abinante because of Lemus' national origin, Mexican. PG&E denies plaintiff's allegation and claims that McKinnon selected Abinante because her interview was most impressive and because she was already doing some of the duties of the job. Plaintiff claims that his national origin was either the sole factor or a motivating factor in McKinnon's hiring decision, and PG&E claims that McKinnon would have made the same decision regardless of Plaintiff's national origin. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4. 1. 2. 3. QUESTIONS FOR THE PANEL Has any member of the panel heard or read anything about the case? As I indicated, my name is Jeffrey S. White. Do any of you know me? My courtroom deputy is Jennifer Ottolini and my Law Clerks are Daisy Salzman, Melissa Goldberg, and Kristin Ring. Do any of you know any of these people? Plaintiff Jose Lemus will be represented at trial by Dan Siegel of the law offices of Siegel & Yee. Defendant PG&E will be represented at trial by Gary T. Lafayette of the law firm of Lafayette & Kumagai LLP. The parties may also call the following witnesses: Craig Porter David McKinnon Pat Lawicki Kristi Patterson Gloria Herrera Bahman Ahmadi Shannon Walden Diane Abinante William Smith Jon Roder Veronica Lemus Marty Hunt John Greer Roger Gray Gregory Thornbury Russ Shaw Janice Frazier-Hampton Janice Krueger Bruce Grosse 2 United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5. 6. c) a) b) James Aubuchon Charlie Johnson Courtney Moore Do any of you know any of these persons? Have any of you had any business dealing with them or were represented by them? Have any of you had any other similar relationship or business connection with any of them? Do you have any knowledge concerning the facts or events in this case? Do you have any belief or feeling towards any of the parties, attorneys, or witnesses that might be regarded as bias or prejudice for or against any of them? United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 7. 8. Do you have any interest, financial or otherwise, in the outcome of this case? Have any of you ever served as a juror in a criminal or a civil case or as a member of a grand jury in either a federal or state court? If yes, please state the following: a) How many times? b) When? c) Were you a foreperson? d) What type of case was it? e) How did you feel about your jury service? g) Without stating the result, did the jury reach a verdict? 9. Have you, or any member of your immediate family, ever worked for Pacific Gas & Electric? a) b) c) If so, at which location? In what position? How long did you, or the member of your immediate family, work there? 10. 11. Have you ever been involved in the decision to hire someone? If so, in what capacity? Have you ever supervised people? a) How many people did you supervise? 3 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 14. 13. 12. b) As a supervisor, have any of your employment decisions been appealed to another level of management? c) d) What was your reaction to the fact that the employee appealed your decision? Was your decision upheld or overturned? Do you have any belief or feeling for or against public entities, such as PG&E, that might prevent you from being a completely fair and impartial juror? Have you, or any member of your immediate family, ever filed a grievance or an appeal of an adverse employment action? Has anyone ever sued you, or any member of your immediate family, or presented a claim against you or a member of your immediate family, in connection with matters similar to this case? a) b) c) What was the nature of the claim? Did the matter terminate satisfactorily as far as you are concerned? Is there anything about your experience that will interfere with your ability to be fair and impartial? United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 19. 18. 17. 16. 15. Have you, or any member of your immediate family, had any special training in the law? If so, please describe. Have you, or any member of your immediate family, had experience with employee management, including company reorganizations? Have you ever felt that you were discriminated against based on race or national origin by a business entity or company? If so, describe the incident. Have you, or any member of your immediate family, ever complained to a business establishment or company of race or national origin discrimination? If so, how was the matter resolved? Have you, or any member of your immediate family, ever sued an employer? a) b) What was the claim? What was the result? 4 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 20. Have you, or any member of your immediate family, ever filed a charge or complaint of race or national origin discrimination against any company or person? a) b) What was the claim? How was it resolved? 21. Have you been affected by an employer's reorganization plan, including downsizing or a reduction in force plan? If so, please describe the situation, including the details of the employment position, employer and dates? 22. Do you believe you have ever been unfairly denied an employment position? If so, please describe the situation? 23. You may be called upon in this case to award damages. Do you have any religious or other beliefs that would prevent you from awarding damages if liability for them is established? United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 30. 31. 32. 33. 28. 29. 27. 26. 25. 24. Do you believe that money judgments awarded in lawsuits are generally excessive? Not enough? Would you have any difficultly in returning a money verdict in favor of the plaintiff if he showed that he was treated illegally? If so, why? Do you believe that when a party files a lawsuit for discrimination it means that that party has been discriminated against? Are any of you members of any board or agencies that concern civil rights? If so, what board and what does it do? Do you know anyone on this jury panel? Do you think it is possible that a person can suffer severe and lasting emotional distress as a result of being treated wrongfully at work? Have you had any training in psychology or psychiatry? Have you ever worked for a psychologist or psychiatrist? Have you ever been denied a promotion? If so, did you protest it? Do you, or have you ever, owned your own business? If so, what type of business? 5 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 34. Would you tend to believe a supervisor or manager over a subordinate employee simply because of his or her position? 35. 36. Do you believe that national origin discrimination is a common occurrence? Is there anything else that you would like to bring to the Court's attention (e.g., health problems, hearing problems, difficulty understanding English, personal bias, financial problems, etc.) that might affect your ability to be an effective, fair and impartial juror? 37. Will you be able to be a fair an impartial juror to both sides involved in this case? IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: May 7, 2008 United States District Court 11 For the Northern District of California JEFFREY S. WHITE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 6

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