We take jury selection very seriously, as it’s one of the few domains where even minor mistakes can have severely negative effects on trial outcomes. We do everything we can to make life easier for trial counsel and improve the odds of getting a favorable jury. In particular, we devote the vast majority of our energy to the singularly important goal of identifying and eliminating biased and unfavorable jurors rather than spending precious time “pre-conditioning,” if only because pre-conditioning tends to turn your best jurors into low-hanging fruit for your opponents’ strikes. Here are our rules of the road:
- The single most important task is identifying and eliminating bad jurors.
- Using hardship qualification to your advantage and getting as many cause challenge dismissals as possible will increase the value of peremptory strikes.
- Speed up, optimize, and automate as many tedious parts of the preparation and tracking process as possible. Your time is always better spent thinking about strategy and tactics.
- Don’t waste time bickering about strike decisions.
- Use technology to gather as much additional information about jurors as possible. At best it confers real advantages and at worst it keeps the playing field level.
- Never bluff on passing. It’s not worth the risk.