Jury selection, in my opinion, is the probably most important part of any trial because it’s the process of selecting the 12 people who will ultimately decide whether your client is guilty or not guilty. It’s also your first and only opportunity to have a direct conversation with jurors during an extremely brief period of time.
In a felony case you’re usually only given at most 30 minutes to talk to 21 prospective jurors, so you have to make that very valuable time count by developing an effective plan to address a whole host of issues.
First, you need to educate the jurors about your case.
Second, you need to address the strengths and weaknesses of your case.
Third, and perhaps most important, you have to make a connection with each juror. Jurors are more willing to listen to you and accept your message during the course of a trial if they like you and if they feel that you’re being up front with them.
The ability to do all of this successfully can only be learned over time. It can only be acquired through experience, and it can only be obtained as the result of selecting a lot juries and trying all types of cases.
Sometimes cases are won or lost based on the jury you select. If your case is going to trial, you need an attorney with both extensive courtroom and jury trial experience who’s able to develop an effective plan, convey an effective message, and help you achieve a winning outcome.