Can You Pick Your Jury?
The fate of many cases is in the hands of jurors. A jury is tasked with one of the most vital roles at trial: the verdict. In the movies, you often see lawyers selecting the jurors who will hear their client’s case. Will you get to pick your jury if your case heads to court?
In this article, civil litigation attorney Ryan Robertson tells you whether you get to pick your jury.
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Clients often ask if they will get to be a part of the jury selection if their case goes to court. The answer is: it depends.
Is Your Case Entitled to a Jury?
Criminal defendants in Colorado are automatically entitled to a jury trial except in very limited circumstances. So, in that case, you are almost assuredly going to a jury trial.
If you are a party in a civil case, you do not have the constitutional rights afforded to a criminal defendant, but the state of Colorado finds you are entitled to a jury trial.
Your attorney may request a jury trial on your behalf.
What Happens at Jury Selection
Potential jurors must be at least 18 years old and live in the county in which the case is being tried.
On the day you pick your jury, a pool of eligible people are brought to the courtroom. You and your lawyer will read the jury questionnaires for to try to determine who you may want on your jury.
After the court brings all of them up, the judge will go through something called a “voir dire.” That is when the court asks questions to make sure the right individuals are there on the panel.
Finally, your attorney and the opposing attorney will ask questions of all the prospective jurors.
A Perfect Jury?
From there, you and your attorney will be able to select the people that you want and those you do not. If you don’t want them on the jury, you’ll be able to kick them off.
However, the other side gets the same right.
Being a part of the jury selection does not mean you will have the perfect jury for your trial. In reality, your jury will be a mix of both what you want and what the opposing party wants.
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