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How do both prosecution and defense attorneys attempt to strategize to ensure they get the best juror for their side.

Houston, TX |

What techniques are used? How successful have they been and is this considering jury tampering? Why?

I am having terrible luck locating this information through Google search.

Attorney Answers 4

Posted

Lawyers go through years of schooling and even more years of on-the-job training. Ant good trial attorney will tell you jury selection is an art and a science, but it is not something that can be taught via the internet. Are you representing yourself? It is unclear from your question your purpose for asking. Good luck.

John S. Riordan, Esq., RIORDAN & HERMAN, PL., West Palm Beach, FL, (561) 650-8291. Mr. Riordan is a former Palm Beach County Prosecutor and an experienced criminal defense lawyer handling cases in both State and Federal Courts throughout Florida. The answer provided is for educational purposes only. It does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney-client relationship. You should consult an attorney for legal advice regarding the facts of your specific case and designed to help you with your personal needs.

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Posted

I am in school for criminal justice. I am having to write a paper about this and the instructions are to search the web to the following exact question has it is given to me .. "Search the web for information on how both prosecution and defense attorneys attempt to strategize to ensure they get the best juror for their side. What techniques are used? How successful have they been? Is this considered jury tampering? Why or why not?"

John Skyler Riordan

John Skyler Riordan

Posted

I would be more than happy to discuss this question with you, but it cannot be done effectively via the internet. If you wish to call, I will answer any questions you may have. John, (561) 650-8291.

Asker

Posted

okay, I will call you shortly. Thank you.

Asker

Posted

I will call you in the morning to discuss this question if it is ok with you. I am sorry I did not call earlier. I was side track with some other school work I was doing and forgot to call you.

John Skyler Riordan

John Skyler Riordan

Posted

No prob Sent from my iPad

Posted

That is a very individual decision. Different attorneys trying the same case might choose different jurors and one attorney might be looking for different types of jurors in different cases.

Among the endless number of factors a lawyer might consider are:

What does the juror have in common with the defendant?

What does the juror have in common with the alleged victim?

Does the juror's background suggest stability and a taste for regularity and order, or the reverse?

Has the juror had any experience with a subject that might be important to the case?

Is the juror capable of following complicated facts or difficult argument?

Is this a juror whom I, the lawyer trying the case, think I can talk to?

And hundreds of others. And no, it is not considered jury tampering.

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Posted

Homework assignment? Wrong site.

My responses to questions on Avvo are never intended as legal advice and must not be relied upon as legal advice. I give legal advice only in the course of an attorney-client relationship. Exchange of information through Avvo's Questions forum does not establish an attorney-client relationship with me. That relationship is established only by individual consultation and execution of a written agreement for legal services.

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Posted

yes, I am aware of that. However, my assignment asks for me to search the web for this information. I, however, am not having luck on finding good information. I figured I good get some insights from actual attorneys.

Posted

I agree with the other two lawyers who have responded. I would add only that in Texas, the lawyers do not have the privilege of picking jurors they like. Instead, they have the privilege of striking from the panel of veniremen (potential jurors) people whom they deem to be unfavorable from their clients' standpoint. At the end of the voir dire examination, during which the lawyers question the veniremen, each side retires to a private room to exercise its strikes. Each side has the same number of strikes, usually six. After both sides have struck their respective lists of veniremen, the clerk examines the two lists and removes from the list of veniremen the names of all those whom either side has striken. The judge then calls out the names of the first twelve veniremen whom neither side has striken and those twelve comprise the jury. Accordingly, we say that we "pick" a jury when, in reality, we "unpick" a jury.

I'm afraid you cannot learn how to conduct a voir dire examination or determine which veniremen to strike on Google, any more than Google could enable you to learn how to perform brain surgery. Picking a jury is an art that trial lawyers take years to learn. Many books have been written that are devoted entirely to this subject. Unless you are an experienced trial lawyer, you cannot reasonably expect to learn this art and perform effectively in your case, so I hope you are not considering representing yourself. There is an old saying: "He who represents himself has a fool for a client."

Good luck.

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Posted

Thank you. However, I am only a student working for my associates degree in criminal justice. My assignment was to search the web for the question asked. I figured I could get some insight from actual attorney's. I agree that Google is a weak point to conduct research for this given topic. I am thinking that maybe my instructor may be looking for not only the legal standpoint of jury selection, but also any "corrupt" ways in which prosecutors and defense lawyers may or may not do that is considered jury tampering. I am sure he does not want my entire paper to about attorney's who may or may not have tampered with it, but I think he may want it included. There are some insightful information here from everyone who has answered. I was wondering if both the prosecution and defense lawyers have or use the same strategy , or if different strategies are used. I believe that is the main point of the question. Do they have a strategy? If so, are they the same, different, why or why not, is it considered jury tampering, why or why not?

Don Karotkin

Don Karotkin

Posted

Of course, the ethical rules that apply to lawyers cover voir dire and the jury selection process as a whole, as they do all other aspects of lawyer conduct. The ethical rule that applies to voir dire and jury selection specifically is Texas Disciplinary Rule of Professional Conduct 3.06, which I commend to your attention. You can find the Disciplinary rules in the State Bar Rules, Article X, Section 9, which is part of the Texas Government Code. Since voir dire and the jury selection process as a whole take place before there is a jury in the jury box, it would be inaccurate, I think, to apply the term "jury tampering" to anything that goes on during that process. Yes, strategy is involved in voir dire and jury selection, as it is in practically everything else involved in trying a lawsuit, whether criminal or civil. However, without knowing a good deal about the facts and issues in a particular case, it is impossible to formulate, or even discuss intelligently, a particular strategy. No, formulating and implementing a strategy for voir dire and jury selection is not "jury tampering" or "corrupt" as long as the lawyer does not violate a Disciplinary rule, such as Rule 3.06. Using one's lawyering skills in an effort to get a jury in the box that will be favorable to one's client is not only not improper, it is required. We are ethically required to do our best, within the bounds of the law and the ethics of the profession, to win for our clients. Getting a favorable jury is key to winning. I hope the above helps you.

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