United States District Court, E.D. California
PROPOSED TRIAL DOCUMENTS
GARLAND E. BURRELL SENIOR UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
are the Court's proposed voir dire, the Court's
proposed preliminary, during trial, and closing jury
instructions, and the Court's proposed verdict form. Any
proposed modifications should be submitted as soon as
morning and welcome to the United States District Court.
Thank you for your presence and anticipated cooperation in
the jury selection questioning process we are about to begin.
You are performing an important function in our legal system.
court personnel who will assist me in this trial are on the
platform below me. The Courtroom Deputy is Shani Furstenau.
Next to her is the Certified Court Reporter.
about to begin what is known as voir dire. The purpose of
voir dire is to determine whether you can be a fair and
impartial juror on this case. Near or at the end of the
process, each party can use a certain amount of what are
called peremptory challenges, which excuse a potential juror
from sitting as a juror on this case. A potential juror can
also be excused for other reasons.
Furstenau, please administer the oath to the panel.
the Jury Administrator randomly selected potential jurors and
placed their names on the document that you have been given
in the numerical sequence in which each potential juror was
randomly selected. Each juror has been placed in his or her
randomly-selected seat. The Courtroom Deputy has given each
juror a large laminated card on which the number is placed
that depicts the order in which the juror was randomly
ask the potential jurors questions as a group. If a potential
juror has a response, he or she shall raise the laminated
card. Generally, you will be given an opportunity to respond
in accordance with the numerical order in which you are
seated, meaning the juror in the lowest numbered seat will
respond first. If no card is raised, I will simply state
"no response" 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 seat number by stating your seat
number, then your response. That could expedite the process.
conclude any question unduly pries into your private affairs
and you, therefore, desire to discuss it privately, let me
know. I am authorized to protect legitimate privacy
interests, but I may ask questions about the matter you
indicate you want to discuss privately to determine whether
it, or any aspect of the matter, should be discussed in the
public courtroom. This approach is taken because the trial
proceedings should be open unless I have a legitimate reason
to close an aspect of it.
presentation of evidence and closing argument portions of the
trial are expected to be completed in approximately 8 to 11
court days, after which the case will be submitted to the
jury for jury deliberation. Trial will be conducted on
Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, from 9:00 a.m. to about
4:30 p.m. However, once you commence jury deliberations, you
will be expected to deliberate every day except weekends from
9:00 a.m. to about 4:30 p.m. until you complete your
this schedule present a problem for any prospective juror?
there any reason why you would not be able to be a juror or
give your full attention to this case?
you opposed to judging a witness's credibility?
is a criminal case brought by the United States government
against Defendant Alla Samchuk in which the United States
alleges in the Superseding Indictment that Ms. Samchuk
committed bank fraud, false statement to a financial
institution, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.
Ms. Samchuk has pleaded not guilty to these allegations. The
superseding indictment simply described the charges the
government brings against Ms. Samchuk. The superseding
indictment is not evidence and does not prove anything.
a. Did you know about the allegations being tried in this
case before I just stated them?
b. Is there anything about an allegation which causes you to
feel that you might not be a fair juror in this case?
will now see if you know, or have had any interaction with
any participant in this trial by allowing each party to be
a. The attorneys for the United States may introduce
themselves and read the names of all witnesses they intend to
b. Defense counsel may now make an introduction.
c. Do you know or have you had any interaction with any
person just introduced or named?
you, any member of your family, or any close friend ever been
arrested or charged for a crime or been a defendant in a
a. Could what you communicated have a bearing on your ability
to be a fair and impartial juror in this case?
you ever served as a juror in the past?
State whether it was a civil or criminal case, and state
whether the jury reached a verdict, but do not state the
actual verdict reached.
you, any member of your family, or any close friend ever been
employed by a law enforcement agency?
a. Is there anything about what you just related that could
prevent you from being an impartial juror in this case?
Would you tend to believe the testimony of a witness just
because that witness is a law enforcement officer and for no
Would you tend to disbelieve the testimony of a witness just
because that witness is a law enforcement officer?
are required to apply the law I will give you even if you
believe a different law should apply. If you cannot agree to
what I just said, please raise your hand.
you have any difficulty with the rule of law that a person
charged with a crime is presumed innocent and need not
present any evidence, and the government at all times bears
the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt?
you have any problem with the rule of law that a defendant
need not testify on his own behalf, and that if a defendant
chooses not to testify, that factor may not be considered by
you in your deliberations?
there anything that we have not discussed that you believe
could have a bearing on your ability to be a fair and
impartial juror in this case?
Now, I am going to ask you to put yourselves in the position
of each lawyer and party in this case. Do you have any
information that you would like to know if you were in that
Courtroom Deputy Clerk will give juror in seat number 1 a
sheet on which there are questions to which I want each of
you to respond. Please pass the sheet to the juror near you
after you respond. The questions ask:
a. your name;
b. your educational background;
c. the educational background of any person residing with
d. your present and former occupations; and
e. the present and former occupations of any person residing
are the jury in this case, and I want to take a few minutes
to tell you something about your duties as jurors and to give
you some instructions. At the end of the trial I will give
you more detailed written instructions. When you deliberate,
it will be your duty to weigh and to evaluate all the
evidence received in the case and, in that process, to decide
the facts. To the facts as you find them, you will apply the
law as I give it to you, whether you agree with the law or
not. You must decide the case solely on the evidence and the
law before you and must not be influenced by any personal
likes or dislikes, opinions, prejudices, or sympathy. Please
do not take anything I may say or do during the trial as
indicating what I think of the evidence or what your verdict
should be-that is entirely up to you.
evidence you are to consider in deciding what the facts are
the sworn testimony of any witness;
the exhibits which are received in evidence; and
any facts to which the parties agree.
following things are not evidence, and you must not consider
them as evidence in deciding the facts of this case:
statements and arguments of the attorneys;
questions and objections of the attorneys;
testimony that I instruct you to disregard; and
you may see or hear when the court is not in session even if
what you see or hear is done or said by one of the parties or
by one of the witnesses.
may be direct or circumstantial. Direct evidence is direct
proof of a fact, such as testimony by a witness about what
that witness personally saw or heard or did. Circumstantial
evidence is indirect evidence, that is, it is proof of one or
more facts from which one can find another fact.
to consider both direct and circumstantial evidence. Either
can be used to prove any fact. The law makes no distinction
between the weight to be given to either direct or
circumstantial evidence. It is for you to decide how much
weight to give to any evidence.
are rules of evidence that control what can be received in
evidence. When a lawyer asks a question or offers an exhibit
in evidence and a lawyer on the other side thinks that it is
not permitted by the rules of evidence, that lawyer may
object. If I overrule the objection, the question may be
answered or the exhibit received. If I sustain the objection,
the question cannot be answered, or the exhibit cannot be
received. Whenever I sustain an objection to a question, you
must ignore the question and must not guess what the answer
would have been.
I may order that evidence be stricken from the record and
that you disregard or ignore the evidence. That means that
when you are deciding the case, you must not consider the
evidence that I told you to disregard.
deciding the facts in this case, you may have to decide which
testimony to believe and which testimony not to believe. You
may believe everything a witness says, or part of it, or none
considering the testimony of any witness, you may take into
the witness's opportunity and ability to see or hear or
know the things testified to;
the witness's memory; the witness's manner while
the witness's interest in the outcome of the case, ...