Jury Selection Applied to Daily Life
Voir dire is a process of finding out what people think so you can prevent people with extreme views from ruining the case. What about keeping them from ruining your life, your economy, your environment your world. Equally import one could suggest. Perhaps voir dire in all aspects of life is a helpful tool to learn it and to gain the same benefits.
Daily life, networking meetings, lunches, phone calls all lend themselves to some application of voir dire and in the process may help develop your jury selection skill set and be a better person. Being interested in others more than oneself and understanding others is naturally involved in the process. In fact, curiosity and neutrality may be a simple statement of ideal voir dire. Avoid argument, be curious, it is about them, not you or your agenda. Find out if they are extreme and how they match up to your world by asking questions to reveal their thoughts.
The real art of voir dire is really getting to know someone. For example, suppose you do auto cases. Rather than talk about what a fine lawyer you surely are, find out about the other’s experiences with lawyers. Not a cross-examination of course, just comfortable conversation starters about them. But be honest about it being about them. I like the joke about the man who said ok, enough
about me, how do you feel about me? When you attend networking meetings ego is very present.
If someone says something you disagree with it is hard not to argue and developing that ability is of value for better voir dire. Arguing with jurors works against you. But insightful curious questions can turn a moment for you. Too many, too pointed questions trying to look smart usually find rejection, even Socrates was asked to drink poison to take his life as punishment for too many questions.
However, for example, a person says there are too many lawsuits. In a trial, you have identified an important thought you must consider. How do you politely figure that statement out? Think about that. I could suggest questions, you can get lists off the internet, but being in that moment is what you need. The obstacle is the way. Practicing with this barrier and being water around it teaches you great insight into jury selection. The art is thinking at that moment. Does one press for more or just conclude their interest and yours do not match, or they are not good for your auto case as a juror or a referral source for auto cases? Or explore other areas. Maybe they think there are too many lawsuits because they believe insurance companies are not properly settling cases and in fact, they would be a perfect juror for your case.
Perhaps we all have the instinct to conclude and judge quickly. If someone supports the views of the opposition, aren’t you curious why? Not that you have to give them echo or accept their view or a rote repeat of words they parrot but give them a fair chance and then just like with a
jury excuse and thank them. They are gone and you have avoided further grief. In life and voir dire, we do not have a lot of time. Quick judgments should we avoid them? You decide. Be fair. Be good be honest. Explore the question and balance in life. Think about it maybe. Perhaps being real at the moment and genuinely curious not your own agenda-oriented and see what happens. I would love to know your thoughts. Share them below, please.