Voir Dire During Jury Selection in Civil Trials

Voir dire is an important aspect of a trial, as its goal is to maintain a fair and impartial jury. This process allows the attorneys to learn about a potential juror while at the same time the potential juror learns about the case, the attorneys, and their client. Evidence can also be tested at this time as it is separated from the trial. This mechanism allows for an impartial jury and a fair trial. It protects the integrity of the legal system.

The Voir Dire Process

Voir dire means “to speak the truth.” It takes place at the beginning of a trial. In voir dire, the potential jurors are randomly selected from a group of people registered in the community. After the potential jurors are selected and seated, both the judge and the trial attorneys ask questions to determine whether they have any bias concerning the case or whether they should not be chosen. The object is to seat a fair and impartial jury. The potential jurors are randomly selected from a group of people registered in the community. The judge asks initial background questions to the potential jurors to make sure they can serve on the jury. The attorneys then present a brief summary of their client’s case and then question the potential jurors looking for any biases.

Preemptory Challenges During Voir Dire

After voir dire, an attorney can ask for removal of any juror by a peremptory challenge. Although limited, the attorney who makes the request does not have to state any reason. The goal is to get a well balanced jury excluding anyone not favorable to her client’s case. The attorneys will look at body language, demeanor, employment, and personal biases when exercising the challenge. Another challenge is for cause. It looks at whether a juror is biased, prejudiced, or for any other reason. The attorney requests the challenge and the judge makes the decision.
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Christopher A. Sawan

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