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February 15, 2005


"Voir Dire: When to Strike, When Not"

In a Wyoming case,

several cases were consolidated because they all involved the same issues. The evidence was heard by multiple juries at the same time. Then the juries separated to make their individual decisions regarding the same issues of liability for each respective party. "The defense won some and the plaintiffs won some," Brega notes. To him, that's pretty clear support for the notion that "the person listening to the evidence has a huge impact on the way a case is determined."
(Cary Griffith, LawCrossing, Feb. 15).

There's a cottage industry of support companies specializing in how to use the voir dire process to manipulate both the composition and attitude of a jury to be more favorable. An ATLA "litigation tip" suggests plaintiffs' attorneys mislead the court by requesting to show photographs of an auto accident to "test juror eyesight" and then learn from juror reactions who is skeptical of soft-tissue injuries. (Larry D. Lee, "Use Photos to Identify Juror Bias", ATLA.org, Dec. 7).

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