Rethinking Voir Dire
The Army Lawyer, February 2012, No. 2, DA PAM 27-50-465
8 Pages Posted: 27 Sep 2013
Date Written: February 1, 2012
The way we practice voir dire in the military is often done without having a goal in mind; however, everything we do in trial advocacy should be goal-oriented. When we define our goals for voir dire, we need to take into consideration our current understanding of group social dynamics and under what circumstances potential jurors will release important information. Drawing on modern social science research, this article divides voir dire into three parts (individual written examination, individual oral examination, and group oral examination), offers a goal for each part, and suggests methods for reaching those goals within each part.
Keywords: Voir dire, Rules for Courts-Martial (RCM), preliminary panel member examination, individual written examination, individual oral examination, group oral examination, information gathering, education, rapport, persuasion, questioning techniques
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