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How do lawyers choose jurors?
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How do lawyers choose jurors?

What is the process lawyers use in choosing a person to sit on a jury? What are they looking for?


    




agsmile02
Rating
Attorneys choose jurors by using a system known as voir dire. This is where each side of a case has the opportunity to ask questions of the jurors to determine who would not be suited to serve on this case due to underlying biases. This is where the differences between federal and state court arise. In federal court, the judge is the one who generally conducts voir dire. the attorneys submit questions to the judge who will ask the questions to the jurors. In state court, generally each attorney is permitted to ask questions to the jurors in an alloted time period. At the end of voir dire, the attorneys are permitted to use for cause challenges to get rid of the jurors from the jury pool who would be tainted from delivering a verdict. This means for example if it is a murder case, juror fourteen's sister was murdered. This juror would be struck for cause because it would be hard for this juror to think about this murder case differently than they would think about their own sister's murder case. Then each side has an opportunity to exercise their preemptory challenges to get rid of a juror. This is where Batson challenges can arise. It is pretty complicated going into the ins and outs of jury selection but this is a bare bones summary.


sczechj
Rating
Lawyers look for jurors based on each case. The criteria changes. They want jurors that will be as impartial to THEIR side as possible, and be sympathetic to their argument.

For example, if it's a DWI case, the Defense Attorney will want jurors that have been in the same boat, to gain sympathy for the defendant.

The Plainiff (from the DA's office, in this case) will want jurors that have experienced some of the ill-effects of drunk drivers.

After that, both lawyers say they want these certain people as jurors, and they go back and forth on which jurors to pick.

After 12 are selected (18 in larger cases for a jury pool, in case the trial is supposed to last for a long time), the rest are dismissed.

One item that a lawyer once told me is if you don't want to be picked - BE VOCAL. Have an opinion, and make it known. Lawyers want to BEND jurors to see things their way, and they don't want it any more difficult by having a strong-willed juror who can turn the tide of the jury.

Why do you ask? Did someone get a summons? :)

Good luck!!!


thylawyer
Rating
In most cases, trial lawyers have little information about the potential jurors and the clients have little money or time for detectives to find out much information. The jurors have completed a written form giving basic information, but if they have told the truth or not is always a problem. The forms are basic, because no one knows what kind of case they will be asked to sit on, unless it's a specialized court.

As the others have said, each side wants jurors they believe will favor their side, and there are as many theories about how to do that as there are lawyers and experts who help lawyers select jurors.


Nunitak
I do not have the answer to your question, just an interesting comment.

I have been called for jury duty several times during my lifetime, and in different states.

Typically, this involved one whole lost day from work. In each case I was rejected. I have no idea if it was the defense or the prosecution or both.

So, there are some people they do not like. I think this might include the scientific type. You can verify that category from my blog, if desired.

As I have watched lots of stuff on TV involving juries and commentaries by jurors and the like, I do not recall a single instance of the scientific type.

See if you can find out why this is so...

Could it be because we are persuaded more by facts than by closing arguments?


The Princess
"Voire dire", thier looking for people who are not biased against the parties in the case!!!!!!!!!!1111


prettycute4u62040
I'm getting all my information from my legal terminology class. I hope that it helps.

First of all, there are two different types of of jurys: the traditional and the one-day one-trial.

Under the tradional method, each city and town is required to prepare a list each year of everyone of good moral character, who is eleigible to serve on a jury. Each name on the list is placed on a separate ballot and kept in a ballot box by the city or town clerk. Before each sitting of the court, the clerk of court sends a writ of venire facias (a written order to cities and towns to provide a designated number of jurors for the next sitting of the court)to each city and town within the courts jurisdiction. Jurors' names are then drawn from the ballot box by the mayor and alderpeople of a city and by the selectpeople of the town. Jurors whose names are drawn by the cities adn towns are summoned to appear before the court for jury duty for a month. Under this method, members of the clergy, lawyers, practicing physicians and surgeons, nurses, public school teachers, and certain other people are exempt from jury duty. Persons 70 years old and older are also exempt from jury duty.

The one day-one trial jury system is relatively new. The state that the book provides for an example is Massachusetts. Under this method, a group of jurors appears in the jury pool each day. Jurors who are not selected for a trial on that day are excused from further duty and can't be called again for 3 years. Jurors who are selected for a trial serve only for that trial and no longer. Under this method, there are little exemptions. Persons 70 years old and older may choose not to serve.

I hope this answers your question.


warghost_2006
It depends on the case, for example if your client is on a drug charge then you perhaps want a jury that lives in urban areas, because those in suburbs tend to look harsher on those sort of thing, but in urban area they dont because they see this type of stuff often, or if you have a client that commited a white collar crime then you would want well off jurors because bluecollar jurors would think to harshly upon your client. note that the defense and prosecution both vote for the jury. and have an amount of veto power untill x amount of jurors are called.


tootsmagee737
ANSWER:

Let's start with the big picture. Much as lawyers would like to "choose" jurors, all they can really do is eliminate a few. As you saw, the trial starts out with a large pool of potential jurors. Then the lawyers for both sides get to ask them questions, and use a limited number of "challenges" to get people out of that pool. The two types of challenges are 1) challenges for cause, and 2) peremptory challenges.

A challenge for cause asks the judge to excuse a potential juror because he appears to be biased or unable to be fair. For example, if the potential juror says something like "Gosh, I'm sure if the police arrested him, he must be guilty," the defense lawyer would probably trip over herself rushing to challenge that juror for cause. If the judge agrees, the juror is excused. There is no limit on the number of "for cause" challenges that lawyers may raise. (And judges, too, can excuse for cause on their own.)

Sometimes judges deny a challenge for cause, especially if the juror assures everyone that he will be open-minded. Is the lawyer out of luck? No. She has every right to come back to that juror later with a peremptory challenge -- which is how a lawyer gets rid of a potential juror without having to prove that the juror is unfit. A peremptory challenge can be used to excuse a potential juror for practically any reason other than the juror's race or gender. Lawyers have a limited number of peremptory challenges, typically ten or twelve.

Once all the challenges are done, the trial begins. Then the lawyers find out just how solid their assessments were. Often they're reminded that it's not so easy to evaluate a person based on a scant 30-second conversation. It's sort of like that old show The Dating Game -- sometimes smooth-talking Bachelor Number One just turns out to be a dud.



Copyright 2002 Nolo, Inc.


In God We Trust
Rating
Lawyers try to find jurors who are sympathetic to their clients. Sometimes, this is a long process, but not always. If someone has experienced discrimination or other bad things, and the client has been accused of this, the lawyer tries to eliminate those jurors. The client does not have to have done the horrible things that he or she has been accused of. Any of us would want our lawyers to pick the jurors that would sympathize with our cause, especially if we are innocent of such accusations. God Bless.


Sully
They are looking for people who would be sympathetic to their case, have their own minds, are not afraid to be independent, smart enough to understand the case, and fairly intelligent.


Melizien
I have been on a Jury so I know what they are looking for.
IF the case involves a car crash, then they are both looking for someone who has never been in a crash, does not own a car with parking tickets, and basically the person is not allowed to have a lawyer in their family. They want someone "unbiased"
and who has not experienced a case similar to the one, you are about to judge if you were selected. Both laywers Defense and Plaintiff have to choose you. This creates further fairness.
All jurers are interviewed before they are selected.


brand_new_monkey
I know there are a few types of people the lawyers will NOT choose: People who work in the media, like news reporters etc., because usualy those people will have more preliminary knowledge about the case, and things like that. They also will not choose other lawyers or judges. I know that Washington DC is the only place that lawyers actually do jury duty just because they are such a huge part of the population.


oldlangesyne
Rating
I believe that the lawyers do not actually choose who sits on the jury, they simply eliminate who does not.

They(lawyers)usually take about 30 seconds to a couple of minutes trying to decide if they want each and specific juror.

They(lawyers)can challenge each other for expected jurors.

After the final juror has been chosen, then the trial begins. But what do I know.


Percy
Rating
Let's start with the big picture. Much as lawyers would like to "choose" jurors, all they can really do is eliminate a few.The trial starts out with a large pool of potential jurors. Then the lawyers for both sides get to ask them questions, and use a limited number of "challenges" to get people out of that pool. The two types of challenges are 1) challenges for cause, and 2) peremptory challenges.

A challenge for cause asks the judge to excuse a potential juror because he appears to be biased or unable to be fair. For example, if the potential juror says something like "Gosh, I'm sure if the police arrested him, he must be guilty," the defense lawyer would probably trip over herself rushing to challenge that juror for cause. If the judge agrees, the juror is excused. There is no limit on the number of "for cause" challenges that lawyers may raise. (And judges, too, can excuse for cause on their own.)

Sometimes judges deny a challenge for cause, especially if the juror assures everyone that he will be open-minded. Is the lawyer out of luck? No. She has every right to come back to that juror later with a peremptory challenge -- which is how a lawyer gets rid of a potential juror without having to prove that the juror is unfit. A peremptory challenge can be used to excuse a potential juror for practically any reason other than the juror's race or gender. Lawyers have a limited number of peremptory challenges, typically ten or twelve.

Once all the challenges are done, the trial begins. Then the lawyers find out just how solid their assessments were. Often they're reminded that it's not so easy to evaluate a person based on a scant 30-second conversation. It's sort of like that old show The Dating Game -- sometimes smooth-talking Bachelor Number One just turns out to be a dud.


2hot4u
well they draw the name out of a big thingy and idk what they are loooking for!


fishingbabe8
Rating
Through a questioning process called voir dire? They attempt to establish any hidden biases a person may have to make them more acceptable to their cause.


Therese
Have you watched the movie "RUN AWAY JURY"?? Well nway, lawyers dont choose the jurors. It is randomly selected.


paralegaltechnik
Rating
Most of the answers above refer to the American court system. In England voir dire goes like this:

Judge: "Can you give a fair hearing to both the crown and the defense?"

Potential juror: "Uh, yes?"

Judge: "Thank you. You are juror #7. Take a seat."


cxc
They choose the ones who look the dumbest and easiest to influence. Be offended if a lawyer chooses you to be a juror.

A corollary of the first statement is that doctors are rarely chosen to be jurors.


AninimationNut 21
Rating
They choose random. If you have a drivers licence they give you jury duty once in a while. They also are looking for some one that will sway either way of the vote.


SF_Tom
Rating
There are lawyers and consultants that specialize in that, for big cases. It shows how many lawyers there are in America.


Sarah
Rating
k, in Canada, 75- 100 jurors are chosen from the list of voters in the district. They are then summoned to court, where the court clerk picks names out of a box and calls them to the front. Each lawyer is permitted to ask questions to the juror and accept or refuse them, the defense going first. There are various types of refusals; a limited number can be refused without giving reason, an unlimited number can be refused with good reason, sometimes the list has an error (as in a two year old made the list somehow) and the State can make special refusals where they are eliminated for the moment but go to the back of the line in case everyone else is refused and they need them. Usually, there are twelve jurors per criminal case. Lawyers are looking for non-biased people (or people with a slight bias in their favour) and also people who are not lonked to the case or have opinions already. Hope that's helpful!!


mjbmailbox
Rating
When people get called in to serve jury duty, you meet with both the defense team and the prosecution attorneys. They ask a series of questions related to the case to see if you will remain unbiased towards their client. They are looking for people who will treat their clients fairly and have no reason to be biased in the case based on personal experiences.


just4fun
Rating
A common method for drafting jurors is to draw them at random from electoral rolls (known as allotment or sortition). The most common exclusions are for people whose job in some way precludes them (for instance, teachers, doctors, firefighters, people who themselves work in the criminal justice system), are caring for young children, have an interest in the case, are under the age of 18 years, or who have health problems or serious criminal records. In some jurisdictions in the United States, prior legal education or being a lawyer may also be a reason to be exempted, under the theory that a legal professional may be overly influential to other jurors. However, in recent years, many jurisdictions have eliminated these exemptions


ninth0rb
if you are an OJ def lawyer you choose the most ignorant uneducated people in the pool.


marlonsgirl25
They look for people that are impartial, and non bias.





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