June 01, 2017

Litigator's Muse: Have Courage to Confront the Jurors’ Prejudice

Michael Tigar

Voir dire is the first opportunity to confront juror attitudes. Ideally, the jurors will fill out a questionnaire with basic information and answers about employment and such things as what they read and watch. From questionnaire answers and some basic understanding of community demographics, you get an initial idea about prejudices that can affect your case. You may have juror addresses and public information about their political positions, such as what petitions for office holders and public issues they have signed. In your jurisdiction, it may be permissible to drive by jurors’ houses, discreetly, looking for car bumper stickers and yard signs and other indicators.

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