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Idaho Trial Lawyers Association March 3, 2006 Voir Dire Tips Voir Dire Tips (Part un) Voir Dire Tips Voir Dire Tips (Part un) The Art of Jury Selection.

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Presentation on theme: "Idaho Trial Lawyers Association March 3, 2006 Voir Dire Tips Voir Dire Tips (Part un) Voir Dire Tips Voir Dire Tips (Part un) The Art of Jury Selection."— Presentation transcript:

1 Idaho Trial Lawyers Association March 3, 2006 Voir Dire Tips Voir Dire Tips (Part un) Voir Dire Tips Voir Dire Tips (Part un) The Art of Jury Selection Lisa Blue Ph.D., J.D. - _______________________________________________

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4 VOIR DIRE TIPS VOIR DIRE TIPS -PRIMACY AND RECENCY START WITH A POWER STATEMENT

5 - PRIMACY AND RECENCY START WITH POWER STATEMENT -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGY FOR OUR CASE VOIR DIRE TIPS

6 VOIR DIRE TIPS VOIR DIRE TIPS -PRIMACY AND RECENCY START WITH A POWER STATEMENT -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGY FOR YOUR CASE -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE TIME LIMITATIONS TIME LIMITATIONS.

7 VOIR DIRE TIPS -PRIMACY AND RECENCY START WITH A POWER STATEMENT -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGY FOR YOUR CASE -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE TIME LIMITATIONS -ENCOURAGE THE JUDGE TO SET THE TONE

8 All in the messenger All in the messenger “I once heard a great Judge say….”

9 VOIR DIRE TIPS VOIR DIRE TIPS -PRIMACY AND RECENCY – START WITH POWERSTATEMENT -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGY FOR YOUR CASE -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE TIME LIMITATIONS -ENCOURAGE THE JUDGE TO SET THE TONE -VOIR DIRE IS THERAPY, NOT CROSS EXAMINATION

10 My Favorite Voir Dire Phrases: The difference between you and me…. Tell me what’s in your heart of hearts… My fear is…. If there is a real reason you can’t be here or you don’t want to be here….

11 Identify Belief Systems If you lose this case why are you going to lose? Turn weaknesses into Voir Dire Questions Turn weaknesses into Voir Dire Questions

12 Example: Take the defendants defenses and make analogies

13 Example: Who is Gary Burghoff

14 Example: What face is shown on the dime

15 Example: Lynching

16 VOIR DIRE TIPS VOIR DIRE TIPS - PRIMACY AND RECENCY – START WITH A POWER STATEMENT - PRIMACY AND RECENCY – START WITH A POWER STATEMENT -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGY FOR YOUR CASE -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGY FOR YOUR CASE -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE TIME LIMITATIONS -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE TIME LIMITATIONS - ENCOURAGE THE JUDGE TO SET THE TONE - ENCOURAGE THE JUDGE TO SET THE TONE -VOIR DIRE IS THERAPY, NOT CROSS-EXAMINATION -VOIR DIRE IS THERAPY, NOT CROSS-EXAMINATION -THREE TYPES OF QUESTIONS: OPEN-ENDED -THREE TYPES OF QUESTIONS: OPEN-ENDEDCLOSED-ENDEDSCALED

17 My Favorite Voir Dire Questions:   What should the law be? (remember it’s all about Belief Systems)

18 My Favorite Voir Dire Questions:   If you were me would you want someone just like yourself on this jury?

19 My Favorite Voir Dire Questions:   If you were hurt by negligence of any kind would you sue?

20 VOIR DIRE TIPS - PRIMACY AND RECENCY – START WITH A POWER STATEMENT -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGY FOR YOUR CASE -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE TIME LIMITATIONS -ENCOURAGE THE JUDGE TO SET THE TONE - VOIR DIRE IS THERAPY, NOT CROSS-EXAMINATION -THREE TYPES OF QUESTIONS: OPEN-ENDED CLOSED-ENDED SCALED - USE JURY QUESTIONAIRES SHORT VS. LONG

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22 Scaled Question Example: Prescription drug companies do an adequate job of warning the public about the risks of using their medicines. __Strongly Agree __Somewhat Agree __Somewhat Disagree __Strongly Disagree __Strongly Agree __Somewhat Agree __Somewhat Disagree __Strongly Disagree

23 Belief Question Example: Do you believe a prescription drug should be proven 100% safe before sold to the public? Please explain:_____________________________

24 Adjective Question Example: Which of the following would you use to describe yourself? (Check all that apply) □ Analytical □ Generous □ Outspoken □ Sloppy □ Strict □ Rational □ Rule Oriented □ Attractive □ Judgmental □ Practical □ Smart □ Technical □ Reasonable □ Naïve □ Compassionate □ Logical □ Private □ Successful □ Trusting □ Suspicious □ Talkative □ Emotional □ Pretty □ Self-conscious □ Selfish □ Vain □ Friendly □ Quiet □ Overweight □ Opinionated □ Skeptical □ Sensitive □ Controlling □ Other __________________________

25 VOIR DIRE TIPS VOIR DIRE TIPS - PRIMACY AND RECENCY – START WITH A POWER STATEMENT - PRIMACY AND RECENCY – START WITH A POWER STATEMENT -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGY FOR YOUR CASE -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGY FOR YOUR CASE -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE TIME LIMITATIONS -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE TIME LIMITATIONS -ENCOURAGE THE JUDGE TO SET THE TONE -ENCOURAGE THE JUDGE TO SET THE TONE - VOIR DIRE IS THERAPY, NOT CROSS-EXAMINATION - VOIR DIRE IS THERAPY, NOT CROSS-EXAMINATION -THREE TYPES OF QUESTIONS – OPEN, CLOSED AND SCALED -THREE TYPES OF QUESTIONS – OPEN, CLOSED AND SCALED -USE JURY QUESTIONNAIRES SHORT VS. LONG -USE JURY QUESTIONNAIRES SHORT VS. LONG LISTENING IS AN ACTIVE SKILL JUST ASK YOUR SPOUSE JUST ASK YOUR SPOUSE.

26 VOIR DIRE TIPS VOIR DIRE TIPS - PRIMACY AND RECENCY – START WITH A POWER STATEMENT STATEMENT -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGY FOR YOUR CASE -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE TIME LIMITATIONS -ENCOURAGE THE JUDGE TO SET THE TONE -VOIR DIRE IS THERAPY, NOT CROSS-EXAMINATION -THREE TYPES OF QUESTIONS OPEN, CLOSED AND SCALED -USE JURY QUESTIONNAIRES SHORT VS. LONG -LISTENING IS AN ACTIVE SKILL JUST ASK YOUR SPOUSE -RAISING AND LOWERING JUROR EXPECTATIONS EXPECTATIONS

27 VOIR DIRE TIPS -PRIMACY AND RECENCY – START WITH A POWER STATEMENT -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGY FOR YOUR CASE -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE TIME LIMITATIONS -ENCOURAGE THE JUDGE TO SET THE TONE -VOIR DIRE IS THERAPY, NOT CROSS-EXAMINATION -THREE TYPES OF QUESTIONS – OPEN, CLOSED AND SCALED -USE JURYQUESTIONNAIRES SHORT VS. LONG -LISTENING IS AN ACTIVE SKILL JUST ASK YOUR SPOUSE -RAISING AND LOWERING JUROR EXPECTATIONS -LOOPING ANSWERS FROM JURORS IS POWERFUL POWERFUL

28 VOIR DIRE TIPS -PRIMACY AND RECENCY – START WITH A POWER STATEMENT -WHAT IS THE THEME, THEORY OR TRILOGYFOR YOUR CASE -ADDRESS VOIR DIRE TIME LIMITATIONS -ENCOURAGE THE JUDGE TO SET THE TONE -VOIR DIRE IS THERAPY, NOT CROSS-EXAMINATION -THREE TYPES OF QUESTIONS – OPEN, CLOSED AND SCALE -USE JURY QUESTIONNAIRES SHORT VS. LONG -LISTENING IS AN ACTIVE SKILL JUST ASK YOUR SPOUSE -RAISING AND LOWERING JUROR EXPECTATION -LOOPING ANSWERS FROM JURORS IS POWERFUL -FIRST ASK ELIMINATION QUESTIONS, THEN EDUCATION QUESTIONS!!!!!!!!

29 Voir Dire

30 SIMPLE CASE

31 Who is this case about? John Doe vs. Wal-Mart

32 What is Voir Dire? 1. Who will be on the jury? 2. YOU do the talking. Jurors who talk, walk. Jurors with nothing to say, stay.

33 Bias & Prejudice Bias –Inclination towards one side of an issue versus the other –“Leaning” Prejudice –Prejudgment

34 Your Thoughts: Thoughts about Corporations doing research or Chemicals by people are exposed 1.Good idea? 2.Why? What should Corporations do? 3.What Can Happen if they don’t do research? 4.What if its just to get results for a lawsuit – help win their case. (Hide)

35 Greater Weight and Degree of the Credible Evidence (51%) Burden of Proof

36 50% Greater Weight of the Credible Evidence Burden of Proof

37 51% 49% Greater Weight of the Credible Evidence Burden of Proof

38 Negligence Failure to Use Ordinary Care 51%

39 Can’t Sue Employer Premise Liability 51%

40 Employer -Defendants weren’t an Employee -Defendant can’t be Sued Employer & Defendant = Say Defendant NOT Responsible (Hide)

41 Proximate Cause: a cause which produces an event and without which cause such event would not have occurred. THERE MAY BE MORE THAN ONE PROXIMATE CAUSE

42 Producing Cause: an efficient, exciting or contributing cause that, in a natural sequence, produced the injury. THERE MAY BE MORE THAN ONE PRODUCING CAUSE

43 There may be more than one cause.

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47 If you or a loved one were harmed by someone’s negligence, would you file a lawsuit?

48 Your opinions about lawsuits. -Length of the Case - Lawsuit Abuse - Too Many Lawsuits

49 Compensation Mental Anguish Pain & Suffering Burden of Proof: 51% -- More Likely Than Not $15 to $20 Million

50 Punitive Damages Punish & Deter Clear & Convincing Evidence Premise Owners have Duty to Know of Dangers in their Plants

51 A Premise Owner Has A Duty To Maintain Safe Working Conditions For All People Entering Their Plant - Strongly Agree - Agree - Disagree - Strongly Disagree

52 ‘People’ Should Quit Their Job If They Think It Might Not Be Safe - Strongly Agree - Agree - Disagree - Strongly Disagree

53 Before You Decide Someone Was Exposed To A Dangerous Chemical Would You Require Documents YES:__________ NO:___________

54 Which View Do You Lean More Toward: A:A Corporation should prove their chemical is safe before they put the chemical in the air. B:A Corporation can put their chemical in the air until someone (besides the corporation says its not safe)

55 A Premise Owner Has A Duty To Make Sure Everyone on Their Premises DOES NOT Get Hurt 1.Strongly Agree 2. Strongly Disagree

56 OSHA If standards but no violation of standard - who could not find the company responsible?

57 It Is The Personal Responsibility Of The Worker (and not the companies duty) To FIND OUT What Hazards Are In The Work Place - Strongly Agree - Agree - Disagree - Strongly Disagree

58 Yeah Buts………..!!! - Not enough Exposure - OSHA – Research Question - Worked in their Plant - “Safety Man” [Not For Entire Time of Exposure to Benzene] (Hide)

59 Yeah Buts………..!!! - Sympathy - Read Articles about the dangers of Benzene - Corporation put profit before people - If you serve on this case, if you award a verdict against SHELL & PHILLIPS do you think that could effect you personally? - How many folks don’t want to be here? - Hate Corporations – (use people & throw them away) - Length of Case (You Haven’t Heard Evidence) (Hide)

60 Promise Most Important Case You’ll Ever Sit On: WHY? 1.Power to change, effect & influence a man’s life 2. Power to influence how ‘Big Business’ operates 3. Power to have a say in what is acceptable Corporation conduct & what is not (No other entity has this power) (Hide)

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62 Lisa Blue, Ph.D., J.D. Baron & Budd, P.C. (214)


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