Remembering old-fashioned jury selection
Anyone who has reported for jury service and made it to the voir dire phase may have wondered how attorneys decide whether to strike or accept potential jurors. With the literal meaning “to speak the truth,” the French phrase voir dire denotes the preliminary examination the court may make of potential jurors to determine competence or bias.
Trial lawyers know that jury selection is an art, and today in publicized or important trials, highly trained consultants in jury selection are hired by opposing counsels. These modern day specialists are trained in social psychology, and they make a careful study of every person on the list of potential jurors. The purpose is to ascertain, as far as possible, how the lives of a potential juror might influence that person’s decision in a given case. Even lawyers in Grayson County sometimes hire jury consultants to research internet social media postings by potential jurors to help the attorneys make informed decisions about which ones to avoid and which ones to favor.