United States District Court, E.D. California
PROPOSED VOIR DIRE, INITIAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS, DURING
TRIAL JURY INSTRUCTIONS IF APPLICABLE, AND CLOSING JURY
GARLAND E. B'JRRELL, JR. Senior United States District
are the proposed Voir Dire, Initial Jury Instructions, During
Trial Jury Instructions if Applicable, and Closing Jury
Instructions. Dated: March 23, 2017
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.
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. Ms. Furstenau
please administer the oath to the prospective jurors.
about to begin what is known as voir dire. Voir dire consists
of questions designed to provide the court and the parties
with information about each potential juror. After
questioning is complete, the parties will exercise what is
known peremptory challenges.
United States District Judge
Counsel, the Jury Administrator has already randomly selected
potential jurors and their names are on the sheet you have
been given in the order of the random selection. Each
potential juror has been placed in his or her
randomly-selected seat, and has given each juror a large
laminated card on which the number is placed that depicts the
order in which the juror was randomly selected.
will 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.
3. If a
potential juror concludes a question unduly pries into a
private matter, the potential juror may request to respond
out of the earshot of other potential jurors. I'm
authorized to try to protect legitimate privacy interest, but
may ask questions in the area that you indicate a desire to
discuss in private to determine whether it, or any aspect of
the matter, should be responded to as indicated. This
approach is taken because the trial 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 three
weeks, 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 until you
complete your deliberations. Does the schedule pose a special
problem for any prospective jury?
Counsel may make any desired introductions and the government
shall name anticipated witnesses it may call so it can be
determined whether any potential jury knows or has contact
with a person named.
you know and/or have you had contact with a person just
is a criminal case in which the United States alleges that on
or about June 25, 2009, defendant Omar Kabiljagic submitted
to the United States two individual income tax returns, one
for tax year 2007 and one for tax year 2008, that contained
false information, which the defendant knew to be false, and
that the tax returns were submitted for payment of fraudulent
tax refunds. The defendant has pleaded not guilty to these
light of the allegations, does any potential juror prefer not
being a juror on this case?
there any reason why you would not be able to be a juror and
or to or give your full attention to this case?
you know about the allegations being tried before you came
into this courtroom?
there anything about the allegations which causes you to feel
that you might not be a fair juror in this case?
Have you, any member of your family, or any close friend been
arrested for a crime or been the defendant in a criminal
Have you, any member of your family, or any close friend
worked for the Internal Revenue Service, California State
Franchise Tax Board, or Department of Treasury?
you have any religious or moral objection to sitting in
judgment of another's conduct in a court of law?
Have you ever served as a juror in the past, in any capacity?
a. State whether it was a civil or criminal case, and whether
the jury reached a verdict, but do not state the actual
Would you tend to believe the testimony of a witness just
because that witness is law enforcement officer?
Would you tend to disbelieve the testimony of a witness just
because that witness is 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?
Please provide information that has not been discussed which
you think a trial participant would desire to know?
Courtroom Deputy Clerk will give juror in seat number one a
sheet on which there is information we seek. Please pass the
sheet to a potential juror near you after you respond.
a. your name and educational background;
b. the educational background of any person residing with
c. your present and former occupations;
d. the present and former occupations of any person residing
You now 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 initial instructions. At the end of the
trial I will give you more detailed instructions that will
control your deliberations. 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 to 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
(1) the sworn testimony of any witness;
(2) the exhibits which are received in evidence; and
(3) 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:
(1) statements and arguments of the attorneys;
(2) questions and objections of the attorneys;
(3) testimony that I instruct you to disregard; and
(4) anything 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