Voir Dire in a family violence case can be exceptionally difficult: prospective jurors often bring well-held thoughts about domestic violence to the table, but they may be reluctant to tell the truth about how they really feel. This is especially true in cases where the victim is not participating in the prosecution, in cases with minimal injury, or in cases where the Defendant doesn’t seem like a violent person. Jury selection is about getting the jurors talking – truthfully – in the hopes that they can be candid with the Court. In this presentation, we will look at ways to ask “why would a juror acquit” – not just in any case, but given the facts of your case. We will address formulating questions designed to target the issues presented in your case. Finally, we will look at the types of juror personalities and how to assess the jurors.
1. Recognize common myths held by prospective jurors about family violence.
2. Identify prospective jurors who are capable of making significant decisions.
3. Formulate questions, using analogies, designed to get the venire talking about issues common in family violence cases.