The Educated Jury: A Proposal for Complex Litigation

the use of written questionnaires provides jurors with a greater sense of privacy and comfort than does answering questions in open court, in front of their fellow jurors and, often, the press.[ ] [ ] is there a procedure in place for the follow-up of potential jurors who fail to return questionnaires? answers to the above questions should serve as a sound basis for securing the best possible logistics for the use of supplemental juror questionnaires. in the terrorism trial of zacarias moussaoui, all jurors completed the questionnaire on the same day, using two courtrooms in the morning and afternoon. of greater concern is the probable increase in non-return rates by jurors who are asked to complete a long questionnaire. do you believe that you could be a fair and impartial juror in the trial of a member of that terrorist organization? when the jury venire contains large numbers of potential jurors, or when there are a large number of questions contained in the supplemental juror questionnaire, additional time will be necessary. if a follow-up procedure is not used, it will be necessary for the court to have the jurors who arrive at trial without having completed the questionnaire do so on-site.

Affirmative Jury Selection: A Proposal to Advance Both the

 requesting the use of supplemental juror questionnairesparticularly for supplemental juror questionnaires initiated by the lawyer, it is sometimes necessary to submit a motion to the court requesting their use. in some jurisdictions, jurors who fail to return their questionnaires by a specific date are contacted by the court or jury administrator in an effort to secure the completed questionnaires. thus, valuable time is not wasted questioning a potential juror who will not be qualified to serve. the judge and the lawyers do not need to pursue with each individual juror or panel of jurors the questions that appear on the questionnaire. depending on their scope, these questionnaires address the jurors’ background characteristics, experiences, activities, and opinions and evaluations. in this case, jurors who had been exposed to oliver north’s immunized testimony before congress could not serve. supplemental juror questionnaire procedure checklisttopicsyes no initial needs:[ ] [ ] has the jurisdiction used a supplemental juror questionnaire before? consequently, supplemental juror questionnaires should not be considered a substitute for in-court questioning and diligent in-court follow-up of important issues.

Applying Rules of Discovery to Information Uncovered About Jurors

 a major challenge faced during the jury selection process is to gather useful information about potential jurors so that lawyers may intelligently exercise peremptory challenges and uncover grounds for challenges for cause. supplemental juror questionnaires can play an important role in uncovering valuable information that should be pursued during voir dire. follow-up questions may be allowed by the court to clarify answers or to pursue important areas of concern revealed by the jurors’ answers. unlike with the onsite method, a major concern with the off-site method is ensuring that all jurors complete the questionnaires and return them by the designated time. the questionnaires to potential jurors several weeks before trial gives the court sufficient time to contact jurors who do not meet the return deadline. are a number of potential benefits to using supplemental juror questionnaires, including (a) increased juror disclosure; (b) development of more effective follow-up questions; (c) ability to prescreen jurors; (d) minimizing infection of the panel; (d) availability of greater total information; and (f) promotion of a faster jury selection.., jurors are more likely to inadvertently skip questions on the back sides of pages; duplication problems can arise; and the information contained on double-sided questionnaires is more difficult for lawyers to manage during questioning. this procedure saved a considerable amount of time by eliminating many potential jurors prior to voir dire examination.

Juror Questionnaires | Solo, Small Firm and General Practice Division

” the disclosure of such a fact (if this confession was inadmissible) could infect and prejudice other jurors who heard this remark. time available for attorneys to examine jurors’ answers varies from a few hours to several days to several weeks. for other discussions of juror questionnaires, see the jury 1987: techniques for the trial lawyer (pli litig. these jurors later returned in small batches, with the first batch starting ten days later for the beginning of voir dire. thus, time was not wasted examining potential jurors who eventually would have had to have been removed for cause. many jury trial reforms reflect growing awareness of best practices in education and communication as well as research documenting that jurors take an active rather than a passive approach to their decision-making task. the court may decide a priori that certain answers by jurors reflect bias, conflict of interest, taint, or hardship, which would disqualify them from jury service. when jurors answer questions on these questionnaires, lawyers cannot observe any associated verbal and nonverbal behavior.

Emotions, Attitudes, and the Death Penalty (Research Proposal

it makes sense to revise trial procedures so they take advantage of jurors’ decision-making tendencies and strengths. jurors complete the questionnaires upon their arrival for jury service, either in the jury lounge or some other appropriate setting. or consider the potential juror who answered “yes,” she understood the defendants were innocent and “undecided” as to their guilt. supplemental juror questionnaire checklistthe following checklist illustrates the kinds of procedural information of interest when considering the use of a supplemental juror questionnaire. lawyers may have many persuasive reasons for wanting to use social media to perform research about prospective jurors, ethical considerations and potential dangers make it essential for every trial lawyer to know the risks and rewards of such online investigations.. appendix i contains the motion for improvements in voir dire procedures, including the use of a juror questionnaire, submitted by the defense in a possession of child pornography case. the same information given on a supplemental juror questionnaire would infect no one and would alert the court to the possible need for private questioning of that individual. even with more innocuous information—for example, jurors’ familiarity with products at issue in the litigation—the answers jurors give can serve as an important starting point for in-depth questioning.

Voir Dire Becomes Voir Google: Ethical Concerns of 21st Century

juror questionnaires are designed to elicit a variety of information from jurors. by including questions regarding pretrial publicity in the supplemental juror questionnaire, the parties and the court are alerted to possible problems. It makes sense to revise trial procedures so they take advantage of jurors’ decision-making tendencies and strengths. for example, these questionnaires can explore the following areas: ■ background characteristics:occupation/employmenteducationmarital statusincome■ experiences:victimizationinvolvement in lawsuitsuse of firearmsuse of commercial productsexperience with patents or other intellectual propertyexposure to/awareness of pretrial publicity■ activities:hobbies and spare time activitiesorganizational membership■ opinions and evaluations:general views concerning the presumption of guilt/innocencetrust in law enforcementviews on causes of crimeviews on civil lawsuitsviews on providing monetary compensation for noneconomic damagesviews concerning punitive damagesfavorable/unfavorable impressions of a party or partiesbeliefs in the guilt of a criminal defendant or liability of a civil defendant supplemental juror questionnaires can vary considerably in the number of questions asked and the subsequent length of the questionnaire. these methods differ based on whether jurors complete the questionnaires off-site before trial (off-site method) or at trial (on-site method). Many jury trial reforms reflect growing awareness of best practices in education and communication as well as research documenting that jurors take an active rather than a passive approach to their decision-making task. for example, in response to questioning regarding pretrial publicity, a potential juror may answer, “i read that the defendant confessed to the crime during police questioning. overall, a substantial number of jurors were eliminated through the court’s desk audit process.

"Recent Evaluative Research on Jury Trial Innovations" by B

jurors’ hobbies and spare time activities have included “cockfighting” and “smoking weed. lawyers may have many persuasive reasons for wanting to use social media to perform research about prospective jurors, ethical considerations and potential dangers make it essential for every trial lawyer to know the risks and rewards of such online investigations.[ ] [ ] is there an appropriate location/setting for all potential jurors to complete the questionnaire? when jurors give these answers, the court simply removes them from further consideration. however, we will be focusing our attention on the supplemental juror questionnaires that are at least partly under the control of the parties.” this type of statement made in open court could infect other jurors., attitudes, and the death penalty (research proposal)11 pagesemotions, attitudes, and the death penalty (research proposal)uploaded byanthony hudson  connect to downloadget docxemotions, attitudes, and the death penalty (research proposal)downloademotions, attitudes, and the death penalty (research proposal)uploaded byanthony hudsonloading previewsorry, preview is currently unavailable. maximizing the return rate for the questionnaires requires (a) specific instructions about when the completed questionnaires are due; (b) a self-addressed, postage-paid, return mailer; and (c) a follow-up strategy for dealing with jurors who fail to meet the deadline.

Public opinion and the jury: an international literature review

often, in this latter type of jurisdiction, the hope is that jurors who fail to return their questionnaires will bring the completed questionnaires with them when they come to court. candor may be such that jurors may try to cover up their candor by crossing out some of their answers. supplemental juror questionnaires provide a greater range of information to the parties at the conclusion of voir dire questioning. subsequent individual questioning of potentially tainted jurors out of the presence of the other potential jurors may be in order. outside influence is more likely with the off-site method, where the court’s ability to control the setting and monitor potential jurors is absent. off-site methodone method for obtaining information requested on supplemental juror questionnaires is to mail copies of the questionnaires to potential jurors before the trial. for example, only 38 percent of the first forty potential jurors who completed the questionnaire passed these screening questions.. this cover letter was used for the juror questionnaire in united states v.


however, these latter juror questionnaires 229 questionnaires are often general in nature and not designed to meet the needs of a specific case. tool for lessening the problems caused by restrictive voir dire conditions is the supplemental juror questionnaire. in the trials of timothy mcveigh and terry nichols, potential jurors reported to a rented auditorium where they completed the questionnaires and were excused for seven to ten days while the 480 to 500 questionnaires were reproduced and processed. a final benefit of supplemental juror questionnaires is the potential for conducting voir dire more quickly. is important to secure the completed questionnaires from as many potential jurors as possible in order to maximize the benefits obtained from this approach. many of the notable trials in the past few years have employed supplemental juror questionnaires. if the motion is not simply a formality, it will be important to set out the following: (a) why a supplemental juror questionnaire is necessary in the case; (b) the possible benefits secured through the use of a supplemental juror questionnaire; (c) a proposed procedure for using supplemental juror questionnaires, if one is not in place; and (d) recommended changes in the present procedure, if necessary. _____ no _____ potential jurors who answered affirmatively to any of the above questions were removed from the jury pool.

as a result, jurors are likely to be more candid in their answers to questions in supplemental juror questionnaires than to questions posed in open court, particularly when faced with group questioning.[ ] [ ] will there be sufficient time for review of the completed questionnaires prior to questioning of the potential jurors? the jurors were then contacted forty-eight hours prior to the day they were to arrive at court. how to use supplemental juror questionnairesthere are two basic methods for employing supplemental juror questionnaires. however, we now know that jurors quite actively engage in evidence evaluation, developing their opinions as the trial progresses. supplemental juror questionnaires that range from two to twenty pages in length can be accommodated by both the off-site and on-site methods fairly easily. a problem that is rarely addressed is the issue of jurors receiving assistance (or interference) in completing their questionnaires. > publications > gpsolo ereport > 2012 > october 2012 > juror questionnaires.

do you decide which type of supplemental juror quesitonnaire to use? the court or jury administrator sends the questionnaire to potential jurors with a cover letter explaining how jurors are to complete and return the questionnaires and when the questionnaires must be returned. Traditional adversary jury trial procedures often appear to assume that jurors are blank slates, who will passively wait until the end of the trial and the start of jury deliberations to form opinions about the evidence.. it is important to distinguish between qualification questionnaires, which are sent out by the court to establish the jury pool, and “nonqualification” or supplemental juror questionnaires, which are designed to provide additional information to that provided on the qualification questionnaire. [ ] [ ] is a motion required when seeking to use a supplemental juror questionnaire? since the early 1970s, supplemental juror questionnaires have been used sporadically but with increasing frequency in both federal and state courts. past juror questionnaires have revealed answers and comments that are not likely to have surfaced during oral voir dire. when using the on-site method:[ ] [ ] will all potential jurors be completing the questionnaire at the same time?

Research proposal juror opinions

are usually mailed to jurors three to six weeks before the trial begins. zacarias moussaoui, judge brinkema used the supplemental juror questionnaire to “desk audit” potential jurors, eliminating with consent of the parties jurors whose answers to the following questions reflected bias, inability to follow the law, or, in the case of question 147, reflected a potential security risk:670(a). it should be noted that some courts routinely send out supplemental juror questionnaires on their own initiative. for example, in the exxon valdez civil case, jurors completed the questionnaires on a monday and returned two days later for voir dire questioning. see also a discussion of the desirability of using juror questionnaires in timothy r. particularly in federal courts, voir dire is limited in (a) what questions can be asked; (b) who asks the questions; (c) how much time is allotted for the questioning process; and (d) the opportunity for individual questioning of jurors. mastering voir dire, chapter 7objectivesto explore the basics of juror questionnaires and their construction. jurors’ answers to the questions posed in the questionnaire serve as a starting point for the examination of jurors, either by the judge, the lawyers, or both.

whenever questioning of potential jurors occurs in the presence of other jurors, there is the potential for the answers given to infect or taint the remaining jurors present. deciding which method to usethere are four major considerations in choosing either method for administering supplemental juror questionnaires or, in jurisdictions where procedures are already in place, seeking changes in the methods employed.[ ] [ ] will there be sufficient time for review of the completed questionnaire prior to questioning of the potential jurors? Now, substantial research on the effects of most of the reforms on juror comprehension and juror satisfaction with the trial has been completed and reported. any interaction or assistance provided by outside individuals carries the potential for decreasing the honesty and candor of potential jurors’ answers. whether the supplemental juror questionnaire originates from the court or from the parties in a given case, the comments apply to both. for example, on the questionnaires, jurors may admit to having been arrested in the past or having been a victim of sexual assault.” these candid comments occur more frequently in juror questionnaires than during voir dire.

the problem, however, is that voir dire as conducted in federal courts and many state courts impedes the discovery of important information about jurors. when using the off-site method:how far in advance of the trial/jury selection will the questionnaires be mailed to potential jurors? three questions (questions 30, 31, and 32, shown below) were developed to elicit information concerning the possible exposure of jurors to the immunized testimony:30. as long as the criteria are decided beforehand, supplemental juror questionnaires have significant potential for streamlining the jury selection process. the past decade, state jury reform commissions, many individual federal and state judges, and jury scholars have advocated the adoption of a variety of innovative trial procedures to assist jurors in trials. asking the jurors to return the completed questionnaires within a short specified time after receipt (e. similar situation could arise in products liability cases should a potential juror reveal that his or her employer stopped using the product at issue because it was “defective. However, we now know that jurors quite actively engage in evidence evaluation, developing their opinions as the trial progresses.
jurors return the completed questionnaires by mail to the court or, in some jurisdictions, to a printing company where the questionnaires are photocopied. on-site methodthe second method of obtaining information on supplemental juror questionnaires takes place when jurors report for trial. for example, one juror reported having bumper stickers of “straight and republican” and “nra” on her vehicle, with an attempt being made to cross out reference to the first bumper sticker. supplemental juror questionnaires can be used as a tool to eliminate potential jurors from further consideration in the jury selection process. a number of jurisdictions have recommended the use of juror questionnaires as part of recent efforts to improve jury trials. now, substantial research on the effects of most of the reforms on juror comprehension and juror satisfaction with the trial has been completed and reported. as a result, this saves valuable court time and reduces juror boredom.. in some jurisdictions, requests for using juror questions must be made sufficiently far in advance for the trial judge to issue an order for their use (accompanied by the questionnaire) six weeks or more before the issuing date of the jury summons.

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