Much of the direction of a trial, be it civil or criminal, is dictated by who sits on the jury. As a process, jury selection has many pitfalls. For that reason, it's not unusual for attorneys to turn to jury selection services firms for help on cases. Let's examine why a lawyer might hire a jury selection services provider.
Especially when dealing with cases that pull in multiple directions, it can be hard to direct your energies toward the many things it takes to get to trial. Discovery may still be ongoing, and you may still even be taking depositions in the weeks before selecting a jury. It's often better to bring in a professional with a background in picking jurors and dealing with judges during this process than to add one more item to the load.
Knowing the Rules
Jury selection is governed by a range of state and federal rules. Despite their best efforts, attorneys can't know everything. Just as an accident lawyer might bring in an expert witness to fill in gaps in their knowledge, an attorney may also want to fill in gaps regarding choosing a jury.
For example, it's good to know how many unquestioned challenges to jurors you have when working in a particular jurisdiction. Likewise, you'll want to hold onto those chances to object and to have someone there to tell you when to use them. They're like timeouts in a football game, and you don't want to waste them needlessly.
Working the Ref
Folks who are good at jury selection focus on planting seeds of doubt in the judge's mind. While you have a limited number of chances to throw jurors out of the pool, the judge can do it all day long. Many jury selection services professionals have gotten to know the judges in their areas, and they can tell lawyers which arguments are worth using and when to hold their fire.
Protecting Your Rights
There is a tricky balance between the court's need to make good use of its time and your right to handle the process with care. If you're not sure where the absolute boundaries are, the judge is going to define them for you. With someone familiar with jury selection at your side, you can rest assured they'll catch problematic arguments about the inclusion or exclusion of pool members. This can go a long way toward composing the jury more favorably.
For more information, contact jury selection services in your area.Share