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Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry - Jury Selection - Civil
Magistrate Judge Paul R. Cherry
Suite 3500, U.S. Courthouse
5400 Federal Plaza
Hammond, IN 46320

Jury Selection - Civil

For civil jury trials the Court will seat 8 jurors. All 8 jurors will participate in the deliberations and vote on the verdict unless excused by the Court. There is no specific individual juror identified as an alternate juror. The verdict must be unanimous. No verdict will be taken from a jury comprised of less than 6 persons. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 48. So there is a cushion of up to 2 jurors who may be dismissed, if necessary, during the trial or during juror deliberations.

Depending on the complexity and length of the trial, approximately 20 prospective jurors will be summoned to appear on the first day of trial. The parties and counsel will be provided a list of the prospective jurors and copies of each prospective juror's completed questionnaire on the morning of the first day of trial. Copies of them will also be available for review in the Clerk's office beginning 12:00 noon on the Friday before the first day of trial. The questionnaires shall be returned to the clerk (by the Court) at the conclusion of jury selection.

The first 12 prospective jurors will be seated in the jury box immediately prior to the beginning of the jury selection process. The remainder of the panel remains in the courtroom to hear and observe the jury selection process.

The Court conducts the entire Voir Dire, not counsel. Counsel may, and are encouraged to, submit to the Court written Voir Dire questions no later than the last business day immediately prior to the Final Pre-Trial Conference. When invited to do so by the Court, counsel may also approach the bench near the conclusion of the jury selection process and suggest additional questions for the Court to ask.

The Court will provide counsel with a juror strike form upon which shall be indicated peremptory strikes as well as strikes for cause. Each side gets a total of 3 peremptory strikes in a civil case. Counsel contemporaneously approach the bench and submit their strike forms to the Court. The Court then records the strikes. The Court excuses the stricken prospective jurors. The process continues until 8 jurors are selected. If each side strikes the same prospective juror, it counts as a strike used by each side.

Counsel and parties receive no pass on a prospective juror. A prospective juror not immediately stricken is on the jury unless later the prospective juror volunteers information that shows cause to strike him or her.


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