The Champion

September/October 2007 , Page 32 

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Why Isn't Every White Collar Defense Lawyer Using a Jury Questionnaire?

By Marc S. Raspanti, Michael A. Morse

We have been particularly frustrated during our years as white collar criminal defense attorneys by one constant, albeit sobering, reality: the speed with which some judges push both sides to pick a jury in criminal cases. Increasingly, white collar federal cases carry significant prison terms, fines, and restitution. They also include collateral consequences such as disbarment, loss of professional license, civil suits and, of course, lots of negative publicity. Notwithstanding the stakes, many judges seem to find it a badge of honor to pick a jury in “90 minutes or less.” Docket pressures, as well as courthouse customs, mores, and practices, fuel the rapid speed with which the jury selection process too often moves.

Over the years, we have tried ways to attempt to slow down this important process. Sometimes we have been successful; other times, despite our best efforts, we have not. In trying cases in different jurisdictions throughout the country, one fi

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