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Judge Collins: Voir Dire and Jury Selection

Civil jury trials normally, by stipulation, have seven regular jurors with no alternates. Depending upon the complexity and length of the trial, approximately 20 jurors will be notified to appear on the day of trial. The parties will be given a list of the prospective jurors and copies of each juror's questionnaire on the morning of trial. The questionnaires are to be returned to the Clerk at the conclusion of jury selection.

The first seven jurors on the list will be seated in the jury box. All jurors will be sworn for voir dire which the Court and the parties conduct. When completed, counsel will approach the bench to make challenges for cause and with their proposed "peremptory strikes". Each side is given three challenges. During the first round the Plaintiff strikes first by writing the prospective juror's name on the provided Strike Sheet. The Court will then record all the Plaintiff's strikes. The Defendant will then go next and the Court will then record those strikes. After the struck jurors have been excused, the Court will conduct further voir dire directed to the newly-seated jurors who are called in order. In the second round, the Defendant submits the first strike(s). If both sides challenge the same juror, the strike counts only against the first to strike. The process will continue until 7 jurors are ultimately selected.