The focus of Professor Nancy Marder's latest scholarly research is on one of the most basic yet crucial elements in the legal system: the juror. She aims to bring an awareness of the role of jurors to her peers as well as judges and to examine trial issues from the perspective of the jurors since they are not in a position to represent their own interests during the course of a trial.
Professor Marder shares much of her research on juries, judges, and courts in publications. Some of her latest work includes the essay "Instructing Juries" for The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law, in which she suggests ways to improve the process of writing understandable instructions that are consistent with the law.
Professor Marder looks at law and the media in several other book chapters and journal articles, including one that examines the question of whether federal courts should allow cameras for television viewing. "The subject has become more complicated by recent developments in communication and technology," says Professor Marder. "For example, now that most people have a camera in their cell phone and many people use the Web to communicate and post photos on social networking sites, allowing cameras in the courtroom can create even more difficult issues about how to protect the privacy of parties and how to ensure a fair trial."
In 2007, Professor Marder served as editor of a collection of essays published as a Chicago-Kent Law Review Symposium on 12 Angry Men that commemorated the 50th anniversary of the classic jury deliberation film. A recipient of numerous honors, Professor Marder was awarded IIT Chicago-Kent's Norman & Edna Freehling Scholarship in 2001, which allowed her to take the time to write the book The Jury Process.
She is currently working with students and colleagues to establish Chicago-Kent's new Jury Center, a resource for students, scholars, lawyers, judges, and the media.