Jury Selection

You and the others on the jury panel were selected at random to be called for jury duty.

What to Expect

The first step in a trial is to select from among you the number needed to try the case - between six and fourteen - depending on the type of case.

Questions / Voir Dire Examination

Names are drawn at random from the jury panel, and those who are called take seats in the jury box. The Judge will make a short statement telling what the case is about. Then the Judge or attorneys will question each of you to see whether there is any reason why you cannot be a fair and impartial juror in that case. This is called the voir dire examination.

The questions may be based on your answers to the Juror Personal History Questionnaire you have already filled out. They may deal with your personal life and your beliefs, because these could affect your attitude toward one side or the other.

You should answer these questions fully and frankly, and if for any reason you feel that you should not serve as a juror in the case, you should say so and tell why.

Being Excused

A juror who is related to or friends with any of the parties, or who has unfinished business with any of the lawyers, or who knows or has heard so much about the case that he or she has already formed a fixed opinion about it, will probably be challenged for cause and be excused.

In addition, each side can excuse a certain number of jurors without giving a reason. These are called peremptory challenges.

If you are challenged and excused, with or without a reason, you should understand that it's nothing personal and is no reflection on your worth as a person. You may in fact be selected later to sit on another trial.

Swearing In

When both sides are finished with their challenges, the jurors who have been seated are sworn to try the case.