WELCOME TO THE OFFICIAL RICHARD E GERSTEIN JUSTICE BUILDING BLOG. THIS BLOG IS DEDICATED TO JUSTICE BUILDING RUMOR, HUMOR, AND A DISCUSSION ABOUT AND BETWEEN THE JUDGES, LAWYERS AND THE DEDICATED SUPPORT STAFF, CLERKS, COURT REPORTERS, AND CORRECTIONAL OFFICERS WHO LABOR IN THE WORLD OF MIAMI'S CRIMINAL JUSTICE. THIS BLOG HAS BEEN CALLED "THE DEFINITIVE BLOG ON MIAMI CRIMINAL LAW" BY THE NY TIMES, THE WASHINGTON POST, THE POPE, AND DONALD TRUMP WHO ALSO ONCE SAID IT WAS "REALLY GREAT". POST YOUR COMMENTS, OR SEND RUMPOLE A PRIVATE EMAIL AT HOWARDROARK21@GMAIL.COM

Tuesday, April 25, 2017

MORE VOIR DIRE

We're in a jury selection mood lately, so here are Rumpole's "Rules Of Voir Dire" (c) 2017 Justice Building Blog. 

10.  This is for ASAs. Never ask jurors if they would like DNA, Video, fingerprints, etc, when you don't have that in your case. You ask them that, they think for a second and say "sure, that would be great" and now you have to explain that you don't have that evidence. You look like fools doing this. 

9. Don't go into reasonable doubt. The jury instruction is clear. As a defense attorney it can only hurt you. 

8. If you do go into reasonable doubt, ask the judge to read the instruction. Then ask them what they think about it. Don't ask them if they can follow the law. 

7. Spend time on your client not testifying. Even if she is going to testify. The number one way to expose a state oriented juror is to identify a juror who wants to shift the burden of proof and have the defense prove through the defendant's testimony that they are innocent. 

6. NEVER EVER EVER tell the jury in voir dire your client will testify. It creates two big problems. First, if the state's case falls apart but the judge doesn't JOA it, you're stuck with your promise. Second, it tells the prosecutor - "hey- get a legal pad and for the rest of the trial start thinking of every question on cross you want to ask my client." Bad bad move. 

5. Never admit to anything in voir dire. The thought that it buys you credibility is crap. It just reinforces in the jurors' minds that the reason why your client is sitting next to you is because she did something. 

4. Personalize your client non-verbally. Show physical contact with  them in front of the jury. Laugh with them at the appropriate moment. Put your arm around them and explain the process as the panel is filing in. The attentive jurors will see that and some of them will reason that this is a new experience for your client as well. 

3. You can't try your case in voir dire so stop trying. It's annoying. It doesn't really work and to the extent you get jurors wholeheartedly agreeing with you, you're just alerting the other side on who they should strike. 

2. Never ask a juror if they can follow the law. Either a bad juror says yes and you've lost a challenge, or a good juror says no, and you've lost a juror. Ask them to explain what they mean when they express reservations with a legal concept. 

1. Never ever interrupt a juror. They can't poison a panel. But they will give you a good insight into what they are thinking, even if they are thinking your client is the worst worm ever to wiggle into a courtroom. Ask them why they think that way. It will identify your problems. 

Bonus tip: always tender first time around. The other side won't be able to resist using a strike. Now you're ahead of the game. Do it twice. Do it thrice. You'll see. It puts them back on their heels and you start having the ability to control the panel. 

It sounds dangerous. We've been doing this since around the time James Earl Carter was living at 1600 Pennsylvania avenue (with a break after he lost).  It works. 

From Occupied America, where the Attorney General of the United States is afraid to ride the NYC subways, but senator Schumer's teenage daughters ride them at 4 am, Fight the Power! 

12 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hey RUMPOLE .... you said in 2009 to BUY Bank of America stock and it would go quickly to $25.

It is at $23.98. It took all this time, but you are finally almost right.

What do you think of Amazon, Facebook and Apple going forward??

Anonymous said...

Rump, who is our next county court judge. Rank the top choices.

Anonymous said...

Finally a decent post. As to schumer, another reason he is an idiot, letting his teenage daughters ride the subway in NYC in thde middle of the night. Not surprising since he's the biggest stooge in congress, maybe next to pelosi or Pocahontas

Anonymous said...

This is great. Please keep more posts like this coming!

Anonymous said...

always remember to check if your fly is open, don't wear flashy jewelry or expensive watches, and make sure your socks match.by the time the trial is over, especially for those that last more than one day, they have every detail about the lawyers memorized and they will decide a case based on whether they like/dislike a lawyer. when I was a prosecutor there were attorneys who lost most of their cases because they not likeable.

Anonymous said...

1. Ask the jurors how they feel about issues.
2. Ask them to tell you now if there is anything about them that they think I need to know when the charges are _______.
3. Be honest and sincere.
4. Tell them that no matter what the verdict, you respect them and thank them for showing up.
5. Remind them that they cannot even discuss the fact that an accused person does not testify or they violate the law.
6. Never put a lawyer, RN, insurance adjuster or doctor on a panel. NEVER. Oppss. Forgot School Teacher.
7. Don't pre-try the case but, do ask them what they expect is sufficient evidence.
8.Ask them to keep an open mind as you go last and if they make up their minds too soon, they don't give you a chance to speak your peace.
9. Find out what the like to do for a hobby and any committees they are on.

Anonymous said...

6:33 is right. It appears that Schumer didn't have enough sense to work closely with our Russian friends to insure that a good Republican be placed in the Whitehouse. Everybody knows that Putin wants America to be great again. That's why he hated Obama so much. Now he finally has a president that will live up to his expectations. Also, whats the big deal with New York anyway? There is more culture and wealth in any county in Alabama than in the entire big apple. If Trump has his way, one day the entire country will be as rich and resourceful as Mississippi. GO COAL!

Anonymous said...

This is a great post. Will save and read prior to all trials. Thank you, from the many readers that don't often post. Do you have a top 10 for civil voice dire?

Anonymous said...

Rumpole --- PLEASE let us know how to invest with the new tax laws and what are your stock picks???

The Squire said...

And don't forget the most important rule-never strike an attractive member of whatever sex you find attractive from the jury, because, no matter how badly you are getting pounded, there is someone decent to look at in the jury box. Best piece of advice my first boss ever gave me-followed his lead in last jury-forelady a tad pudgy, but very pretty. Added bonus-Not Guilty on one count, lesser included misdemeanor on the other! Schwing.

Rumpole said...

Apple Cisco. Any decent financial ETF. Half a trillion dollars overseas returned - figure 30 points for apple, 10-15 for cisco, and a 25% run up in the banking sector.

6:55 am- old and crude trial lawyer's maxim from the 1960's when it was profession dominated by men- "don't pick with your dick"

Civil voir dire? Civil lawyers try cases???

Anonymous said...

Nothing on how the 3DCA slammed Milian?