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In re Standing Governing Jury Selection

United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina

July 9, 2019

IN RE STANDING ORDER GOVERNING JURY SELECTION AND INSTRUCTION IN CIVIL S BEFORE THE HONORABLE KENNETH D. BELL

          ORDER

          Kenneth D. Bell, United States District Judge

         The terms of this Order shall presumptively apply to all pending and future civil cases on the docket of the Honorable Kenneth D. Bell in which a trial by jury has been demanded. 1.VOIR DIRE. Pursuant to Rule 47(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Court will conduct all jury voir dire, except as set forth below.

         a. Prior to a scheduled trial term of Court, the Jury Coordinator will mail to each person selected for jury service a “Confidential Juror Questionnaire, ” a copy of which is attached to this Order as Exhibit A. Counsel will be provided copies of the completed juror questionnaires immediately prior to jury selection and voir dire.

         b. After the prospective jurors are sworn, the Court will conduct the jury voir dire as follows:

i. Welcome the jury pool to the Court, briefly explain the importance of the jury and thank them for their jury service;
ii. Explain to the jury pool the purpose of voir dire;
i. Give the jury pool a short summary of the nature of the case and tell them the expected length of the trial;
ii. Have counsel introduce themselves and their clients;
iii. Have counsel identify all potential witnesses;
iv. Randomly select 8 members of the jury pool to be seated in the jury box;
v. Ask the seated prospective jurors (and all later seated prospective jurors) if any one of them has previously heard or read anything about the case or has a relationship with counsel, a party or a witness;
vi. Ask the prospective seated jurors if any of them has special circumstances (including personal obligations and/or medical conditions) that would make serving as a juror for the case unduly difficult; appropriate for the case within its discretion, potentially including questions requested by counsel prior to the trial (See IV(E)(1), (G) of the Court's standard Civil Pretrial Order and Case Management Plan). (Note: counsel will also be given an opportunity to suggest follow up questions for the Court's consideration after the Court's questioning of each group of prospective jurors);
viii. Ask the seated prospective jurors any necessary follow-up questions that may arise from a prospective juror's answer to any question, including written answers to questions on the Confidential Juror Questionnaire; and
ix. Ask if there is any other reason that a seated prospective juror believes he or she could not sit on this jury and ...

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