1 If you don’t know where you’re going, you’ll probably end up somewhere else.
Motivational speaker Zig Ziglar was fond of saying this to his
audiences and it is equally applicable to jury selection. Before
starting, we need to know what our goal is. The ultimate goal
for jury selection should be to create open, frank, and nonjudgmental discussion which reveals information about the
juror. The objective is to learn jurors’ deeply believed values,
their significant past life experiences, and their attitudes
about the relevant issues in the case. These are the things
that determine how people make decisions. You want to end
up with a bonded group without significant bias.
2 In jury selection, and throughout the trial, be yourself, not your idea of what some-
body thinks you should be.
To be great trial lawyers, we need to learn to be fearlessly
3It is not fair to ask of others what you are not willing to do yourself.
authentic. Jurors search for someone they can trust and
who can lead them honestly through the process. Authentic-
ity requires vulnerability, transparency, and integrity. We
all have the ability to sense someone who is not authentic,
someone who is guarded, and someone who is pretending to
be something they are not. We know that first impressions
make lasting impressions. Jury selection is the first time
trial lawyers involve themselves directly with the jury. The
impression we make is likely the impression the jurors will
have for the entire trial.
Those words of Eleanor Roosevelt apply to jury selection. The
well-known principle of psychology called reciprocity provides that we feel obligated to give something in return when
we are given something as a favor. In jury selection, reciprocity means if we want jurors to be motivated to share with us,
by Paul Luvera