Jury selection is one of the most important parts of a case that goes to trial. Robinson & Henry Attorney Joe Novak explains how attorneys choose jurors that will benefit your case the most.
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Rooting Out Bias
Jury selection is also known as voir dire. Voir dire is the process used by the parties in litigation to select a fair and impartial jury. The goal of jury selection is to remove people that have a bias against your attorney, against you the client, or against your case.
Grounds for Removal
Lawyers typically have two types of challenges that will allow them to remove a potential juror from the lawsuit. The first one is called for cause challenge, and the second one is called peremptory challenge.
For Cause Challenge
For cause challenges simply request that the juror be removed from the jury because they have some kind of explicit bias that is barred under the law. One example may be that they are related to one of the parties in the lawsuit, or that they have already served as a juror in a lawsuit involving the same parties.
The other challenges that attorneys are allowed are called peremptory challenges. These are more discretionary, and essentially allow a lawyer to remove a juror from the jury for almost any reason. Each side is allowed the same number of peremptory challenges.
Why Jury Selection Matters
Jury selection is very important to the trial. Jury selection is where you have an opportunity to interview the jurors and find out some of their background facts, which will be important when you present your case to these very jurors.
Jury selection also allows you to find those jurors that are on your side, and those are the jurors that you will be presenting your case to. The reason being is that that juror who is already agreeing with you will then go into the jury room after the case has been presented and try to convince the other jurors to agree with this individual jury on your case.
And so what you want to do is find that juror and then arm that juror with information that will allow them to convince the other jury members that you’re right, and your case should prevail. Jury selection is often overlooked, but it is very important to having a successful trial.
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If you have any questions or would like to discuss anything about jury selection, please feel free to reach out to Robinson & Henry at 303-688-0944 and set up a free 30 minute case assessment, and we will be happy to address any questions you have. Thank you.