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Judge Lee: Jury Selection and Voir Dire Instructions - Civil

Civil jury trials normally have eight jurors. Generally, 20 to 22 prospective jurors will be called to the trial. The parties will be given a random list of the prospective jurors' names. The parties will also be given copies of the one-page questionnaire that prospective jurors fill out when they arrive in court. The Clerk will collect the copies of the questionnaire back from you after the jury is selected.

The first 14 names on random list will be the jurors placed in the jury box when voir dire commences. Judge Lee will conduct the voir dire of the potential jurors. After the Court completes its questioning, the parties will be called to the bench and given an opportunity to ask the court to ask additional questions. Jurors may be excused for cause by the court during the voir dire process. If this occurs, that juror will be replaced by the next numbered juror from the random list. At the conclusion of voir dire, counsel will be called to the bench for challenges.

Challenges are presented orally, one at a time, alternating between the plaintiff and the defendant. Challenges for cause will be done first. After challenges for cause have been completed the Court will then ask for peremptory challenges. Each side is given three challenges. They are also exercised orally, alternating between the plaintiff and defendant, with counsel telling the judge the name and seat number of the juror being challenged.. Ordinarily, eight people will be selected for the jury and there will be no alternates. If fewer than six peremptory strikes are exercised, and more than people are left in the jury box, the jury will consist of the persons seated in the first eight numbered seats in the jury box.