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What Do You Need to Know About Voir Dire?

Voir Dire

Have you ever asked yourself what it means to be a Voir dire? How do you even become an expert in such a place? The article below is going to discuss What is Voir Dire?, its importance, and what it looks like. Voir dire is just described as the process of examining the potential jurors to confirm whether they are fit to serve a particular trial for the trial lawyers; the goal of the entire process is to ensure that no member of the jury is harboring any biases that could interfere with the outcome of the case. Without a good strategy and prepared process, you can take a risk by starting the jury from behind when the trial begins. 

  • The Entire Process

Below is the entire Voir dire process: 

  • Those with the potential to become jurors are randomly selected from the pool of people.
  • The judge begins to ask different questions to ensure everyone can serve on a jury.
  • Attorneys can deliver a mini-opening with an offer of a 3-5 overview of the case presented. 
  • During the mini-openings, both attorneys asked the potential jurors questions to determine bias. 
  • Following the questioning period, attorneys are allowed to request the potential jurors be moved, and the presiding judge can deny the requests. 
  • Attorneys can only accept a limited number of potential jurors with cases. 

 

  • The Judge Is the King. 

No matter the way you prepare the different cases, every Voir dire is influenced by your trial judge. The judge normally has some discretion in the process of selecting a jury. The following decisions will be made based on the questionnaires: 

  • Who to be excused from hardships 
  • What must the juror say to convince the judge to grant a challenge for the cause? 
  • Who can be excused from hardships 
  • What are the time limits 

However, some judges would have an open mind and listen to the lawyers’ suggestions on how the entire process can be fairer. Some judges will also treat the courtroom as a kingdom and would not want to hear any suggestions from any lawyer as they think it’s a threat to their reign, and many are not ready for it. Your main job is determining what will work out for your particular judge. 

 

  • What Does the King Want? 

Now you are aware that the judge is the king and the king views you as the serf, you need to identify the local rules and do what they say. However, most of the kings will tell you their rules, but only if you bother and ask:

  • How much time will the judge allow every attorney to ask questions?
  • How many jurors does the judge need in each sitting?
  • How many challenges does each juror have for every challenge? 
  • Will the attorney be given a random list of prospective jurors? 

The article has given details on What is Voir Dire?. However, you can also face some bias. How do you even overcome such? Three tips can work effectively to deal with bias, they include: 

  • Educate the jurors on how bias works- take them through some courses on how bias works; once they get it, they will likely admit that they can’t be completely fair. 
  • Locate on the panel those that are biased- ask simple questions and get to identify those that are biased. 
  • Eliminate the biased panelists- once you locate the biased panelists, ensure that you eliminate them. 
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