Individual Viewer

Jury Voir Dire & Other Jury Issues

Length: 2 hours 4 minutes

Cases are said to be won or lost at jury selection, yet lawyers are often unclear about the purpose of jury selection and how to conduct it.  Worse, trial counsel often wait until the last minute to even begin thinking about ways to approach voir dire for a particular trial. Don’t let this happen to you. This program will allow attendees to answer these important questions - Is the purpose of voir dire to “educate” potential jurors about your case?  To select a “fair and impartial” jury?  And/or de-select adverse jurors?  In addition, what are the must-ask questions when it comes to jury selection? After briefly covering the legal framework and the different methods of jury selection, the panel will focus on how to: determine the profile of an adverse juror (through jury research & otherwise); conduct voir dire & phrase questions; & spot adverse jurors on the venire panel.

This program is a “must-attend” for new practitioners and seasoned litigators alike.  

Program Chair: Svetlana M. Eisenberg, Debevoise & Plimpton LLP

Faculty: John G. Balestriere, Balestriere PLLC; Honorable Margo K. Brodie, United States District Court (EDNY); Stephen D. Susman, Susman Godfrey LLP; Susan A. Powell, Ph.D., President, Strategic Litigation Research


6:00 – 6:05        Introduction
                    Svetlana M. Eisenberg

6:05 – 6:20        Applicable Law – Brief Overview
                    Svetlana M. Eisenberg & Kevin J. Wilson
6:20 – 6:45        A View from the Bench    
•    The Court’s role in jury selection in a federal trial
•    Permissible scope & length of jury voir dire
•    Juror privacy issues
                    Hon. Margo K. Brodie

6:50 – 7:15        Jury Research    
•    What jury research can & cannot do to help with your case
•    The dynamic of group deliberations & its effect on jury selection
•    Spotting “expert” jurors
                    Susan A. Powell

7:15 – 7:25        Break

7:25 – 8:05    Tips & Techniques for Conducting Voir Dire & Exercising Challenges; Common Mistakes       •    Whether counsel should attempt to “educate” jurors through voir dire
•    Encouraging open & candid answers (risks & rewards)
•    Burden of proof questions in voir dire
                    Stephen D. Susman

•    Staying organized & keeping track of panel members’ answers
•    Juror promises (and their use in closing arguments)
•    Exercising challenges & preserving objections
                    John G. Balestriere

8:05 – 8:10         Proposed Jury Reform     
•    Allowing jurors to talk about the case & to ask questions during the trial & other proposals
                    Stephen D. Susman

8:10 – 8:15        Question/Answer Session    

CLE credit: NY & NJ: 2.5 skills.

CA & PA: 2.0 general MCLE.

Original Recording Date: 10/15/2013

Skills (60): 2.5

Produced By:

New York City Bar Association

Course Materials

  • Jury Voir Dire & Other Jury Issues
  • Jury Voir Dire Power Point Presentation (Video Clip Embedded; Activate by clicking first slide)
  • Affirmation Document