How to Select A Jury
Jury selection compromises probably the most crucial art of the trial lawyer in civil and criminal cases. You can possess the most compelling fact scenario imaginable but without receptive jurors, you will lose before you begin- in essence, you will be running on empty. Jurors who are significantly predisposed for any reason will neither listen to nor consider the evidence in any way consistent with your position- not because they don’t want to but they can’t. Their mindset has already blocked any information inconsistent with their strongly held beliefs. Therefore, our task as trial lawyers is to identify then strike, either for cause or by pre-emptory strike, those that tend to be unreceptive to your case.
In criminal cases it is important to know that only the rarest of jurors truly presume your client innocent, although every person will proclaim they do and actually believe in their heads they do, but they don’t. Our job in jury voir dire is to begin the daunting task of putting them in a neutral place and to find out which ones cannot or do not land there when we finish voir dire. How do we start?
First, I …