The Champion

July 2009 , Page 44 

Search the Champion Looking for something specific?

Preview of Member Only Content

For full access: login or Become a Member Join Now

This Time, With Feeling: The In the Moment Approach to Selecting a Jury

By Fredilyn Sison

When viewers watch courtroom scenes on TV or at the movies, rarely do they see a scene in which a lawyer selects a jury. They typically see opening statements, closing arguments, and the favorite of criminal defense lawyers, cross-examinations. Perhaps it is because voir dire does not lend itself to the high drama that openings, closings, and crosses do. It does not show off the oratorical skills, the persuasiveness, or the cleverness of the attorney. Most likely, it is because of the way students have been taught to do it in law school, with no action, no flair, and no drama — in a word, dull.

The Traditional Method of Voir Dire

The purpose of the traditional method of jury selection is to ferret out the jurors that are least likely to be favorable to the case. It is a method of exclusion, not inclusion. Lawyers learned the traditional method in the few trial advocacy classes they had in law school or from one of the many books that lists the questions to ask potential jurors in any pa

Want to read more?

The Champion archive is reserved for NACDL members.

NACDL members, please login to read the rest of this article.
login

Not a member? Join now.
Join Now
Or click here to see an overview of NACDL Member benefits.

See what NACDL members say about us.

To read the current issue of The Champion in its entirety, click here.

  • Media inquiries: Contact NACDL's Director of Public Affairs & Communications Ivan J. Dominguez at 202-465-7662 or idominguez@nacdl.org
  • Academic Requests: Full articles of The Champion Magazine are available for academic and research purposes in the WestLaw and LexisNexis databases.

In This Section

Advertisement Advertise with Us
ad