Good morning, and welcome to the United States District Court. Thank you for both your presence and your anticipated cooperation in the questioning process we are about to begin. You are performing an important function in our legal system.
The court personnel who will assist me in this trial are on the platform below me. The Courtroom Deputy is Shani Furstenau.
She is on the platform below me on my left side. Next to her is the Certified Court Reporter, Kimberly Bennett.
We are about to begin what is known as voir dire. The purpose of voir dire is to have each of you disclose any feelings, bias, and prejudice against or in favor of any party, so that we can ascertain which of you can fairly sit as a juror in this particular case. Voir dire consists of questions designed to tell the parties some general things about each prospective juror, and to provide the parties with information about whether a prospective juror should be a juror in this case. It allows the parties to exercise more intelligently their peremptory challenges. A peremptory challenge is a request by a party to excuse a juror. The parties will exercise their peremptory challenges after the questioning is complete. In addition, voir dire enables the Court to determine whether any prospective juror should be excused for cause. Challenges for cause permit rejection of a prospective juror for a legal basis.
1. Ms. Furstenau, please administer the oath to the panel.
2. Counsel, the Jury Administrator has already randomly selected potential jurors and placed their names on the sheet that has been provided to each party in the numerical sequence in which they were randomly selected and each juror has been placed in his or her randomly-selected seat.
3. I will ask a series of questions to the jurors as a group. If you have a response, please raise your hand or the number you've been given, which reflects your seat number. Generally, you will be given an opportunity to respond in accordance with the numerical order in which you are seated, with the juror in the lowest numbered seat first. If no juror raises his or her hand, I will simply state "no response" for the record and then ask the next question. If you know it is your turn to respond to a question, you may respond before I call your name by first stating your last name, then your seat number, and lastly your response. That should expedite the process.
4. The trial in this case is expected to last 1 or 2 days. Will that present a problem?
5. Is there any member of the panel who has any special disability or problem that would make it difficult or impossible for that person to serve as a member of this jury?
6. Would the plaintiff introduce himself and indicate any witness that plaintiff may choose to call.
7. Defendant's counsel now has the opportunity to do the same thing.
Do you know any of the named individuals or any of the potential witnesses; or ever had any business or other dealings with any person just named?
8. Plaintiff claims that defendants acted with deliberate indifference to a kidney problem he experienced in violation of his Eighth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Defendants deny Plaintiff's claims.
9. Is there anything about the allegations in this lawsuit that causes any potential juror to prefer not being ...