In the United States, the jury is selected from a community using a random them. Lawyers call the selection process as “vior dire”, which is a Latin phrase that means ” to speak the truth.” The jury selection determines who will serve on a jury during a jury trial. The prosecutors and defense lawyers take down notes during the selection process, called voir dire notes. What does this note contain, and why is it necessary for the selection committee to use one?
What Is a Jury Voir Dire Notes?
A jury is typically a group of 12 individuals who have sworn under oath to tell the truth and nothing but the truth. Their job is to decide on a case or give a legal verdict on a criminal or civil case based on facts and pieces of evidence that has been submitted to them in court. The jury is selected from a pool of people who were summoned to appear in court for the voir dire or the jury selection process. The selection takes place before a trial starts, and the prosecutors and lawyers select which individual is up for the task. During the selection, the jury candidates are asked questions that will determine if they are the type of jury that should be in the said trial. These questions are listed in a jury voir dire notes. The notes include a list of the kind of jury that should not be in a trial, the information gathered on potential jurors, the list of the jury panel or a voir dire panel chart, and a summary of the case to present to the voir dire panel. It’s similar to writing doctor’s notes, interview notes or memo writing, but for a different purpose.
How to Write Jury Voir Dire Notes
Jury voir dire notes are essential in capturing critical details of potential jurors. Here’s how you can maximize the use of your voir dire notes to your advantage.
1. Use Two Different Colored Pens
Using a single colored pen will make your notes look neat and organized. But using two different colored pens will make your notes useful and easy to navigate. This applies both on school notes and jury voir dire notes. Through the different colors, you’ll be able to easily filter the positive and negative information about a potential juror. For example, you use a blue pen for positive information and a red pen for negative information. So when you need to decide which juror to choose within a very short time, scanning through the blue colored notes will help. Also, if you see the information on a juror mainly covered in red ink, you can easily decide that you don’t want him/her.
2. Take Note of the Juror’s Background, Beliefs, Opinions, and Values
Make a voir dire outline ahead of time or before going to the courtroom. Your outline must include details like background, beliefs, opinions, and values. This is where you’re going to write the information you’ve gathered and still use the two colored pens while taking down notes.
3. Write Actual Quotations
make sure to write exactly what the potential juror said, and not what you remembered them say, or how you interpreted what they said.
4. Avoid Using Multicolored Pens
You’ll be taking down notes on actual trial preparation interview and there’ll be a lot of things that you need to take note of. You must also be quick when writing. This means that using multicolored pens is not effective and will definitely be a nuisance.
10+ Jury Voir Dire Notes Samples in PDF | DOC
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10.Sample Jury Voir Dire Note Example
11. Jury Voir Dire Note in DOC
What are the questions asked during a voir dire?
Candidates are asked relevant questions during a voir dire. Questions about the candidate’s beliefs, attitudes, and views on government regulations are asked so that the judges can know the candidate more and help them decide whether the candidate is fit for the job or not. Every question asked usually has a follow-up question depending on the answer. Here are some sample questions:
- Have you been sued in a legal proceeding?
- Do you think that there are too many lawsuits?
- Did you run or considered running for a government office?
How long does a jury selection last?
The jury selection process will start once you are in the courtroom, and it may take more than one day. You will be required to appear in court every day of the trial until a judgment is passed. Trials can last for a day or several weeks, and your presence is a must.
Can I be selected for jury duty?
Juries are drawn from a specific pool of people. To be selected for jury duty, you must be at least 18 years of age, a U.S. citizen, and proficient in the English language. The mentioned criteria automatically qualify an individual for jury duty, but it does not necessarily mean that they are already selected.
How can I avoid being selected?
You’ll be asked questions during the selection, which is the basis for getting selected for jury duty. If you have been convicted of a crime, you may not be selected. Other than that, there is nothing else you can. And lying won’t help you at all. It will just put you in a very difficult situation.
Taking down notes is important, and capturing critical information makes note-taking effective. You can never tell when you’ll be summoned for voir dire, so you must be prepared when the situation arises. These jury voir dire samples make good practice materials, so you might consider checking them out. They’re also free for download.
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