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  1. Jury Selection

    Jury selection will be by the "struck jury" method, with three peremptory challenges per side. Voir dire will be conducted by the court. Counsel should submit proposed voir dire questions in writing at least three days in advance, and will be permitted to submit additional questions to be asked by the court, as provided by Fed. R. Civ. P. 47(a). Jurors will be excused without disclosing which side excused them. Eight jurors will be seated, which will permit up to two to be dismissed as alternates during the course of trial. If none are excused during trial, all eight will deliberate.

  2. Hours of Trial

    Trials will be conducted daily between 9:00 AM and 1:30 PM, with a 20-minute break at 11:00 AM.

  3. During Trial

    Jurors will be permitted to take notes during trial. Jurors who choose to take notes will be instructed that such notes are not themselves evidence, but are merely aids to the juror’s memory of the evidence presented at trial. Jurors will not be permitted to question witnesses, either directly or through submission of questions to be asked by the Court.

  4. Jury Instructions

    Proposed jury instructions must be filed five days prior to trial. For the court's reference, each proposed instruction must be accompanied by a citation to the legal authority that supports it. The court may request briefing or oral argument on the contents of jury instructions.

    The court will orally deliver the final instructions to the jury. Jurors will also be permitted to take written copies of the final instructions to the jury room during deliberations.

  5. Multiple Counsel

    Multiple counsel representing one party may not each perform separate parts of a single advocacy function in court. For instance, when a party is represented by multiple counsel, a single lawyer must handle the entirety of the opening statement for that party. Each witness must also be examined by a single attorney for each party.

  6. Proper Use of Jury Time

    Counsel should attempt to raise evidentiary problems before or after the trial day, or during the break, to avoid jury down time while such problems are solved.

Home -- Judicial Officers -- Practice Guidelines -- Practice Guidelines for Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III -- Juries