Mark Werbner Speaks on Importance of Voir Dire
Voir dire is one of the most important parts of a trial. It provides an important opportunity to make a good first impression and, where the court permits, to articulate the themes of the case. It also gives attorneys – on both sides of the aisle – the opportunity to question potential jurors and identify any biases that may keep a defendant from getting a fair and impartial hearing. No matter how well presented or how strong the facts of a case may be, some jurors will never be swayed, and it’s important to have these individuals be identified and struck from the trial.
Recently, trial attorney Mark Werbner was invited to take part in a panel discussion at the Northern District of Texas Bench Bar conference to discuss this very topic. In “Voir Dire: Tips, Tricks, and Views from the Bench,” Mark and his fellow panelists discussed several important points.
- The utility of jury questionnaires as a way to gather info prior to the selection process
- The need for adequate time for lawyer voir dire
- Biases that may implicitly exist as part of jury selection
The panel also discussed techniques for getting potential jurors engaged with the questioning during the voir dire period. The concern here is that, if no one on the panel is speaking, the lawyers involved aren’t learning anything. There are techniques, however, to remedy this, and these are crucial in the jury selection process. With over 30 years of experience and a track record of approximately 150 jury trials, the insights Mark was able to share with the panel and audience were invaluable.
To learn more about the conference and panels it offered, visit the website.