Can I Pick My Own Jury?

If you decide to go to trial there’s a lot to consider, including who will be put into your jury. Not many people know that they do in fact have a say in who those people will be.

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Many people ask, can I participate in the selection of my jury if I got a jury trial pending? The short answer is yes, you can. It’s a process called voir dier or voir dier depending on who you ask, different attorneys pronounce it differently.

But very generally to serve as a juror in Colorado, you have to be over 18 years of age, be a US citizen, be able to read, speak and understand the English language and reside in the County where the jury is being sat, at least 50% of the time.

What will happen is the jury commissioner will send out a large amount of juror summons that will then populate that particular jury pool for that day. From that large pool, smaller pools of them and be selected for each individual trial division, usually around 20 to 25, depending on the needs of that particular jurisdiction on that day.

From that pool then, a presumptive 12 will be sat in the jury box. Keep in mind that for civil matters, a jury consists of six people. So at that presumptive 12, you will get to ask questions of them through your attorney. You know, what’s your background, what’s your profession? How do you feel about applying the law evenly and fairly so on and so forth?

And then at the end of the questioning that voir dier period, each party will get to strike three people from that presumptive 12, leaving the six jurors. And at that point, then you’ll proceed with the trial.

The jury selection happens first on the first day of trial, and usually it takes about two hours depending on what’s going on. It could take longer depending on the complexity of the case and the size of the jury pool. So very generally that’s the process by which you can select a jury and how you can participate in that with your attorney.

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If you have more specific questions about jury trials or civil litigation in general, give us a call at Robinson and Henry at 303-688-0944.

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