(revised 10/31/06)

This memorandum describes the jury selection procedure that Judge Kennelly has adopted for both civil and criminal cases.

The venire will be summoned from the juror waiting room at approximately 9:15 or 9:30 a.m. The venire will consist of approximately 24 persons in civil cases and approximately 40 persons in single-defendant criminal cases (more if there are multiple defendants). The jurors will first complete a written questionnaire which includes basic background questions as well as questions specific to the case that Judge Kennelly has approved from those submitted by the parties prior to trial. Copies of sample questionnaires accompany this memorandum. After the questionnaires are completed, Judge Kennellyís staff organizes them in alphabetical order and duplicates them, and the copies are distributed to counsel. This process tends to take approximately 30 to 45 minutes.

Following the prospective jurorsí completion of the questionnaires, Judge Kennelly will give introductory remarks and a brief description of the case. Counsel will be asked to identify the persons sitting at counsel table, and Judge Kennelly will read a list of prospective witnesses and others whose names are likely to come up during the trial. The prospective jurors will be asked whether they know or have had dealings with any of these persons. Judge Kennelly will also ask general questions of the entire venire regarding, among other things, special needs and the jurorsí availability to serve for the duration of the trial.

The prospective jurors are then called in the sequence in which they appear on the printout received from the Jury Department and are seated in the jury box and spectator bench in numerical order. Judge Kennelly will question each of the prospective jurors, in order, regarding any matters noted on the questionnaires that require follow-up, and each juror will be asked if the answers he or she gave on the questionnaire are true and correct. Any question which a juror prefers to answer in private is reserved and asked in chambers with the court reporter and counsel present. Once all of the prospective jurors have been questioned, Judge Kennelly will ask the entire panel additional general questions regarding, for example, the jurorsí willingness to keep an open mind, follow the Courtís instructions on the law, etc.

Following the completion of Judge Kennellyís questioning of the prospective jurors, Judge Kennelly will ask the parties, typically at side bar, whether they want him to pose additional questions to particular jurors or the panel as a whole. Judge Kennelly will consider permitting the parties to question the prospective jurors directly, pursuant to a time limitation (any such request must be made at the final pretrial conference).  Once all jurors have been questioned in open court, follow up questions which particular jurors requested to answer privately, and any other matters that Judge Kennelly believes should be inquired into outside the presence of the entire panel, will be asked in chambers.

After the completion of questioning, each party will be asked outside the presence of the venire to make any challenges for cause and to state the basis for the challenge. Judge Kennelly will rule on all challenges for cause before peremptory challenges are made. Each party will then be given an opportunity, subject to a time limitation, to determine which jurors they wish to challenge peremptorily. Each party will simultaneously present a sheet of paper to Judge Kennelly on which they have written the name and juror number of each such juror. The number of peremptory challenges is provided by Rule and/or statute. If more than one party challenges the same prospective juror, the first overlapping challenge will be charged to the plaintiff / the government, the second to the defendant, and so on. This may require the parties to exercise additional peremptory challenges. The peremptory challenges will be read into the record outside the presence of the venire, and each party will be given the opportunity to raise any appropriate issues regarding the exercise of peremptory challenges.

Judge Kennelly ordinarily will impanel twelve jurors in civil cases. A minimum of six jurors is required for deliberations. All jurors who are still seated at the conclusion of a civil trial are "regular" jurors and will deliberate. In criminal cases, Judge Kennelly will impanel twelve regular jurors and two alternate jurors (more if the trial is expected to be lengthy).

Jurors in both civil and criminal cases will be impaneled in numerical order, based on the order in which they were originally seated. In both civil and criminal cases, the first twelve jurors who have not been excused will constitute the jury; in criminal cases, the next two (or larger number) who have not been excused will serve as the alternate jurors. Therefore, if a party is uncertain whether to use a peremptory challenge as between a lower-numbered juror and a higher-numbered juror, the party is encouraged to use it on the lower-numbered juror because, of those two jurors, that juror will be seated first.

Any questions or objections regarding these procedures should be raised at the final pretrial conference.


Criminal Firearms Case

Criminal Fraud Case

Criminal Narcotics Case

Civil Employment Discrimination Case

Civil Personal Injury Case

Civil Section 1983 Case