Thursday, January 31, 2013

Voir dire, or what to ask?

 When going to trial, a lawyer needs to know who is sitting on the jury. Ask the right questions and you may get a sympathetic jury. Ask the wrong ones, and you miss the fact that one of the jurors has a close relative who is a doctor, and you represent an injured patient. Or belongs to a church that disapproves of alcohol, and your client is facing an OUI charge. This is where voir dire comes into play. 

There are many good books on this subject, and the James Publishing Company has just released a new one, “Pattern voir dire questions” . Written by Susan Broome, Ph.D., it contains the how and why of conducting voir dire, as well as sample questions. This title is available for check-out or interlibrary loan. Just contact your local Trial Court Law Library, or use the online catalog to request a copy.