Jury Selection Procedure

Pools and Panels

Petit jurors are generally summoned for a two-month term of service. Trial periods generally run every other week with jury selection commencing on the dates noted on the trial periods calendars. A petit jury pool list of all jurors on the current term shall be prepared by the jury administrator and disclosed to the parties participating in a trial at least five working days prior to the date of the first trial period in the current term of service unless otherwise directed by the Chief Judge or the judge assigned to try the case. This jury pool list is maintained in the Clerk's Office throughout the current term of service. Counsel will also be provided with a copy of this list and a panel sheet in the courtroom before the actual jury selection.

Questionnaires voluntarily completed by the jurors also become available five working days prior to the date of the first trial period in the current term of service. These questionnaires are only provided to attorneys and parties actually involved in the preparation of cases scheduled for trial and must be signed out when in use in the Clerk's Office. Persons reviewing the questionnaires may not lawfully disclose the information nor reproduce these forms in any manner, and must otherwise comply with Local Rule 47.1.

On jury days, jurors are randomly assigned to panels, after which they will report to the courtrooms.

A list of trial jurors shall be maintained in the Clerk's Office for the general public.

Copies of jury verdicts are also maintained on this website and updated at the beginning of each month.

Courtroom Selection Procedures

The judge will read to the entire panel of jurors a brief outline of what the case is about. The judge will then voir dire the entire panel. During the voir dire, the judge will ask counsel to introduce themselves, their clients, and any others seated at counsel table.

Witness lists will be read by either the judge, deputy clerk, or counsel.

Also during voir dire, the case manager will randomly select the required number of jurors and put their name cards on the jury selection board. Unless otherwise ordered by the court, a civil jury will consist of 8 jurors, with no alternates, and a criminal jury will consist of 12 jurors, with 2 alternates.

After voir dire, the case manager will announce the names and juror numbers of those who have been randomly selected. These jurors will take their seats in the jury box.

While the jurors are taking their seats, the jury clerk will question each juror to see whether or not he or she needs to speak with the judge. If the juror did not answer yes to any of the questions, that juror is "qualified" and will remain seated. If the juror has a problem, question, concern or conflict, that juror will be directed to the side bar of the judge's bench, along with counsel, to discuss the matter. After questioning, the judge will determine if the juror is excused or is qualified. If excused, another name will be drawn. That newly drawn juror will be asked if he or she needs to speak with the judge. If so, the juror will come up to the side bar; if not, the juror will be considered qualified and will take the empty seat. This process will continue until all the seats are filled with qualified jurors.

Chief Judge Laplante will consider requests for attorney conducted voir dire. These matters should be raised with the judge at or before the final pretrial conference. When permitted, attorney conducted voir dire will take place after the jurors are qualified and before counsel exercise their peremptory challenges.

When ready, counsel will approach the clerk's bench to exercise their peremptory challenges. The number of peremptory challenges is as follows unless ordered otherwise at the final pretrial conference:

Civil Cases:
Plaintiff has 3 challenges; Defendant has 3 challenges.
Order of challenges: Pltf, Deft, Pltf, Deft, Pltf, Deft

Criminal Cases:
Government has 6 challenges to the panel and 1 challenge to the alternate; Defendant has 10 challenges to the panel and 1 challenge to the alternate.
Order of challenges: Govt -1; Deft -2; Govt-1; Deft-2; Govt-1; Deft-2; Govt 1; Deft-2; Govt-1; Deft-1; Govt-1; Deft-1. Alternate challenges: Govt-1; Deft-1.

When all challenges have been completed, the case manager will excuse the challenged jurors from the case and will read the names of the selected jurors.

If you have any questions on the courtroom selection procedure, please contact the case manager assigned to the case.