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Jury Selection

The court can select juries in cases where the trial may be held before another judge. Counsel and the parties need to consent, and a form will be provided at the time of the selection. Counsel should exchange voir dire questions in advance. The court will meet briefly with the parties and counsel in the courtroom prior to selection to answer any questions and resolve any disputes as to the potential voir dire questions. No additional peremptory challenges are granted unless requested in advance via motion.

In civil cases, the strike method is used. Under this method, the number of individuals who will comprise the jury (e.g. 8) plus the total number of peremptory challenges (e.g. 3 + 3) are seated. Voir dire is conducted on this group and when the group has been passed for cause, peremptory challenges are exercised at the bench without additional questioning.

In criminal cases, 12 persons plus alternates are seated in the box. Consistent with F.R.Cr.P. Rule 24, challenges are made separately as to the jury and the alternate jurors. However, counsel may agree to exercise challenges on the group as a whole instead.

In both civil and criminal cases, the court asks preliminary questions regarding background information and scheduling issues and then permits counsel to conduct the remaining questioning of the jurors so long as all counsel agree. Otherwise the court will conduct the voir dire.

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