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Judge Theresa Lazar Springmann: Voir Dire and Jury Selection

Civil jury trials normally have 12 jurors. Generally, 20 to 22 prospective jurors will be called to the trial. The parties will be given a computer-generated, random list of the prospective jurors' names, and a copy of the jury questionnaires. The Courtroom Deputy will collect the questionnaires after the jury is selected.

The first 14 prospective jurors on the random list will be seated in the jury box. Judge Theresa Lazar Springmann will conduct a brief initial voir dire of the jurors. After the Court completes its questioning, parties will be given an opportunity to present a preliminary statement of the case, and a case-specific voir dire.

After the preliminary statements and first round of voir dire are completed, parties' counsel will be called to the bench. Challenges may then be presented, one at a time, alternating between the plaintiff and the defendant. Challenges for cause will be taken first. Then the Court will take peremptory challenges. Each side is given three challenges. They are exercised alternating between the plaintiff and defendant, with counsel telling the judge the name and seat number of the juror being challenged. When a prospective juror is excused, he or she is replaced by the next numbered prospective juror from the random list. Ordinarily, 12 people will be selected for the jury. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 48, and upon stipulation of the parties, it is agreed that if any member(s) of the jury are excused from completing their service in a case that a verdict must be unanimous and must be returned by a jury of at least six (6) members.

The Court does not allow "back-striking." Once counsel has passed on a prospective juror, that juror cannot be struck in a subsequent round of challenges, unless cause develops.