The best civil litigators engage in a hands-on approach and familiarize themselves with every aspect of the case. They develop strategies for every aspect of the litigation, even those that happen before the trial formally begins. For example, they develop a strategy for the evidence-gathering process known as discovery, where they question witnesses and subpoena relevant documents.
Another area where the lawyer must be prepared is in jury selection. Civil trials are not always decided by a jury. If there is going to be a jury, the lawyer uses the jury selection process to weed out potential jurors who may be biased against the client.
The jury selection process is almost an art form in its own right, which is why it is best to secure the representation of an experienced legal professional.
During the process, the judge and the attorneys for each side are allowed to ask questions of each potential juror in a jury pool. Questions might revolve around the juror’s life experiences or personal views that may be relevant to the case. The judge can then excuse potential jurors “for cause,” meaning that the juror’s answers to questions suggested he or she would not be able to remain objective when hearing the case.
The lawyers for either side may also excuse a certain number of jurors through peremptory challenges or by arguing that the juror should be excused for cause.
An attorney who is experienced in civil litigation can ask relevant questions that are necessary to protect the client’s best interests. Clients should talk to their attorneys about the strategies they will use in all aspects of their case, including jury selection, when necessary.