The opinion of the court was delivered by: Garland E. Burrell, Jr. United States District Judge
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 it could be determined whether you should 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 which allows them to more intelligently exercise their peremptory challenges. A peremptory challenge is a request by a party to excuse a juror; those challenges are exercised after the questioning is complete.
1. 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.
2. This case is expected to take _______________ days for the presentation of evidence, after which they will give you closing arguments. After closing arguments, I will give you closing jury instructions and you will begin your deliberations. Because I handle criminal matters on Fridays and other civil matters on Mondays, we will only be in trial three days a week: Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday. We will begin at 9:00 a.m. and usually end around 4:30 p.m. As soon as you commence jury deliberations, you will be expected to deliberate as necessary during these hours, including Mondays and Fridays, but not on the weekends, until you complete your deliberations. Will any of you find it difficult to participate in this trial during these times or because of any other reason?
3. Would the plaintiff's counsel introduce himself, his client, and name any witness plaintiff may choose to call.
4. Defendants' 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?
5. Have you ever had any experience or dealings with any member of the Sacramento County Park Rangers that could affect your ability to be an impartial juror?
6. Would any of you believe or disbelieve the testimony of a law enforcement officer just because of the person's status as a law enforcement officer?
7. Have you ever served as a juror in a criminal or a civil case?
i. Please state the nature of the case and, without stating the result reached, state whether the jury reached a verdict.
8. My deputy clerk will give juror number 1 a sheet on which there are questions that I want each of you to answer. Please pass the sheet to the juror next to you after you answer the questions.