Sunday, August 17, 2014

Governor signs bill changing voir dire in Superior Court

Governor Patrick recently signed into law (Chapter 254 of the Acts of 2014) a bill that will allow a litigant or their attorney to question prospective jurors in criminal and civil cases tried in the Massachusetts Superior Courts.  The court may grant additional time or impose reasonable limitations on allowable questions. 

Shortly after the passage of the legislation, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court formed a committee to examine the jury selection process and make recommendations before the statute becomes effective in early 2015.  The committee will also look into potential amendments to civil and criminal court rules and work with the Superior Court to develop procedures to implement the new law. 

See also our webpage on jury selection.