Sep. 12, 2014
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Jury Selection

Once you have checked in, you will be directed to a courtroom. The clerk will call the role to determine who is present. Twelve to eighteen names on a random list of jurors will be called. These people will take seats in the jury box. The remaining prospective jurors will remain seated in the courtroom. The judge will explain what the case is about and introduce the lawyers and parties to you. All prospective jurors will be required to agree to truthfully answer all questions asked.

Next, the judge and/or the attorneys will question each prospective juror seated in the jury box to find out if they would be an appropriate juror in the particular case. This is called voir dire. If a juror is excused during this process, the clerk will call the next name on the random list to take the place of the excused juror.

Voir dire questioning may take more than one day. Carefully follow the directions of the judge and courtroom staff regarding date and time to return. If you are going to be late, immediately contact the clerk of the courtroom to which you have been assigned and explain your situation. Remember, the trial cannot proceed until everyone is present.

Occasionally, issues arise in trial preparation or events occur during a trial which could not be anticipated. When this happens, the judge and the parties may need to address the matter outside of your presence. You should not speculate about what is going on. Rest assured that the judge respects your time and will make every effort not to waste it.

Challenges

During the selection process, an attorney may excuse you for a specific reason. This is called a challenge for cause. An attorney may also excuse you for no reason. This is called a peremptory challenge. If this happens, do not take it personally. The lawyer is merely exercising a right given by law.

After the required number of jurors have been chosen, the jury panel is sworn to try the case.

© 2014 Superior Court Calaveras County