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Procedure of a Jury Trial

Jury selection

  • Jurors are called to the jury box and sworn to answer question concerning their qualifications to serve.

  • Challenges to jurors.

  • Jurors sworn.

The trial

  • Opening statements.

  • Presentation of the evidence.

  • Instructions from judge.

  • Closing argument by the lawyers.

  • Jury retires to deliberate.

Deliberation of jury

  • Jurors select foreperson.

  • Discuss evidence and instructions.

  • ​Verdict reached.

  • Verdict read in open court.

  • Jury discharged.

Conduct of jurors

The judge will inform you of your function and conduct as jurors. Generally, you will be instructed that during the trial you as jurors must not express any opinion about the case nor are you to discuss any part of the case among yourselves or with anyone else, nor have anyone discuss the case with you or in your presence. The reason here is obvious: you are bound to render a verdict based only upon the evidence presented during the trial, which the judge has determined proper and admissible for you to consider.

You will notice that the parties and their lawyers may appear to be aloof and unfriendly. They are not permitted to fraternize with jurors. This is intended to avoid even the appearance of any impropriety. Your contacts about the case must be made only with the judge and the bailiff.

All that will be expected of you is to be open-minded, fair, and objective, and determine the facts of the case and the verdict based upon the evidence presented, the judge's instructions, and your common sense.

Your duty as a juror requires you to be prompt in your attendance, attentive to your duties, faithful to your oath, considerate and tolerant of your fellow jurors, sound and deliberate in you evaluation, firm but not stubborn in your convictions, and faithful to your trust.

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