MAGISTRATE JUDGE SUSAN E. COXS
JURY SELECTION PROCEDURE
Following is jury selection procedure which Judge Cox has adopted in light of the benefits it provides. The Court views the benefits of this procedure as, first, providing the parties with an opportunity to see the entire jury venire before exercising their peremptory challenges and, second, permitting counsel to ask follow up questions.
A venire of approximately twenty (20) prospective jurors is summoned from the juror waiting room. Following brief introductory remarks by the Court, the courtroom deputy randomly shuffles the juror cards on which the names are written. Jurors are called one by one and seated in the jury box and spectator bench in numerical order from 1 through 20. The Court then asks general questions of the entire venire regarding their availability to serve for the duration of the trial. Counsel introduces all parties seated at the counsel table, delivers a brief non-argumentative description of the case, and identifies all witnesses they intend to call.
The Court then questions the jurors in numerical order. Each juror rises in turn and answers the general background questions contained on the jury voir dire which is given to each juror upon entering the courtroom. The Court asks each juror case-specific questions and counsel may ask clarifying follow-up questions. Any question which a juror prefers to answer in private is reserved and asked in chambers.
After all jurors have answered all questions, the parties meet with Judge Cox in chambers. The Court first asks parties to make any challenges for cause and to state the basis for the challenge. The Court rules on all challenges for cause before peremptory challenges are made.
The parties then simultaneously present a piece of paper to Judge Cox on which they have written the name and juror number of each of the jurors for whom they wish to exercise their peremptory challenges. In civil cases, each party is allowed three (3) peremptory challenges. In most civil cases, the Court impanels eight (8) jurors, with a minimum of six (6) necessary for deliberations. All jurors who are still seated at the conclusion of the trial will deliberate. Jurors will be seated in numerical order based on the order in which they were originally seated. The first eight (8) jurors who have not been excused will constitute the jury. Therefore, if a party is uncertain whether to use a peremptory challenge as between juror number 1 or number 20, for instance, the party is encouraged to use it on the lower number juror because, of those two jurors, that juror will be seated first.
Any questions regarding these procedures can be raised at the final pretrial conference.