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The Do's and Don'ts of Voir Dire

By: Persuadius

Jury Consulting, Juries, Jury Consultants, Environmental Litigation, Voir Dire, Jury Selection, Labor and Employment


When it comes to jury selection, the importance of asking the right questions cannot be overstated. These questions should aim to reveal the true beliefs and biases of potential jurors, as this information is crucial in ensuring a fair and unbiased trial. However, it is equally important to avoid asking questions that only reveal potential allies and supporters, as this can undermine the integrity of the jury selection process.

As an attorney, your role is to help your supporters remain on the jury without exposing them to the other side. This means that instead of focusing on identifying your supporters, you should invite your adversaries to come forward and make it easy for them to reveal their biases. By doing so, you can eliminate those who may be inclined to favor the opposing party and ensure a more balanced jury.

For example, let's consider a toxic tort case. If you are defending the case, a strategic question to ask potential jurors could be whether they believe there is enough government regulation to ensure companies protect the environment on their own. By asking this question, you provide an opportunity for those who hold the belief that companies cannot be trusted to come forward. If they do, you can potentially eliminate them from the jury, as their biases may impact their ability to remain impartial.

Similarly, if you are representing a personal injury plaintiff, it would be beneficial to ask if anyone agrees with the idea of capping damages in lawsuits, even if the injured party proves their case. This question can help identify potential jurors who may be more inclined to limit the amount of compensation awarded, which could ultimately impact the outcome of the trial.

In the case of employment defense, asking potential jurors if they have had negative experiences or felt treated unfairly at their job can provide insight into their biases. This information is valuable in uncovering any potential biases that may affect their judgment in the case.

It is essential to remember that simply asking potential jurors if they can be fair is not enough. People naturally use their own yardstick to define fairness, and their true beliefs and biases can only be revealed through careful and meaningful questioning. By focusing on uncovering the beliefs and biases of potential jurors, rather than trying to hide your supporters, you can ensure a fair and unbiased jury selection process.

In conclusion, the jury selection process plays a critical role in ensuring a fair trial. By asking the right questions and encouraging potential jurors to reveal their biases, attorneys can create a more balanced and impartial jury. This approach promotes justice and fairness and upholds the integrity of the legal system.

Other articles and resources related to voir dire, jury selection and jury consulting from Persuadius:

A2L Consulting Voir Dire Consultants Handbook

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