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What Should I Include in a Mini-Opening? How to Increase Cause Strikes and Save Your Best Jurors

In the hopes of piquing the interest of jurors and minimizing hardship requests, more and more judges are encouraging parties to make “mini-openings” prior to voir dire.  In fact, California courts now require judges to “allow a brief opening statement by counsel for each party prior to the commencement of the oral questioning phase of […]

How Do I Get Jurors to Reveal Their Biases?

As we’ve discussed elsewhere, it is important to use voir dire as a tool for identifying your worst jurors while hiding you best jurors, and eliciting bias and obtaining cause challenges should be the primary objective.  In a previous blog, we offered techniques for cause sequencing, which is the series of questions that will lead […]

Maximizing Cause Strikes: How Do I Get Jurors to Say They Can’t be Fair?

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, eliciting bias and obtaining cause challenges should be the primary objectives of voir dire. Each juror you are able to remove for cause is essentially equivalent to having an additional peremptory strike that your opponent does not. Indeed, a successful voir dire should tilt the playing field in your […]

The Problem with Stereotyping When It Comes to Jury Selection

It is very common in mock trials and deliberation groups, as well as many jury selections, to hear someone make the following, or similar, comment, “Well, we certainly don’t want any teachers (or nurses, or social workers, or ‘[you fill in the blank]’) on our panel!” In particular, individuals in many of the “helping” professions […]