10 Do's and Don'ts for Jury Selection
May 29, 2008
Orange County Trial Lawyers Top Lakers
By Keith More, OCTLA President
On May 29, the Orange County Trial Lawyers Association held its monthly meeting as usual (the last Thursday of the month). However, this time there was competition for our audience. The Los Angeles Lakers were coming off an impressive Game 4 victory over the San Antonio Spurs, that saw the Lakers almost blow a 20-point lead, but hold on when a referee missed a foul call at the end of the game. The Lakers were now at home for Game 5 to finish off the Spurs and move to the NBA Finals.
Our schedule, unlike the Lakers, was set months in advance. OCTLA and CAOC teamed up to put on some incredible seminars, having come off a great program in April featuring Rex Parris. OCTLA was poised for another “Masters in Trial” program. The Lakers may have been featuring Kobe Bryant, but we were featuring Browne Greene on the finer points of selecting a jury.
No real choice, right? Lakers, or OCTLA monthly meeting, and a chance to get another hour of MCLE credit. That decision was not a tough choice for more than 120 attorneys, including Browne Greene himself. For more than an hour, Browne provided great insight on juries and voir dire. I would be shocked if any one of the 120 attorneys that were in the room even thought about Kobe Bryant, Lamar Odom or Derek Fisher, while Browne was giving key points that would assist even the finest all-star trial attorney.
The feedback from the program was remarkable. In fact, Browne ended the program with a question-and-answer session. It was this interaction that will be remembered most. At one point, Browne finally said, “I could go on all night.” Not one person flinched and after a few more questions, we decided it was getting late.
The Lakers were not the only ones with a height advantage on that night. The 6-foot-4 Greene, told the audience how he sits down during voir dire to appear less imposing to the prospective jurors. Additionally, Greene emphasized the importance of jury questionnaires and keeping the prospective jurors on their toes. He urged the audience to question the jury panel about their beliefs on tort reform, and suggested some unique questions that can shed some light on a potential juror’s true personality.
There is no question that on May 29, the Lakers won and advanced to the Finals, but the real winners on that night were those lawyers who got a chance to learn from a master in trial. There is no doubt that in 10 years, the Lakers’ victory will be just another win, while the information and techniques shared by Browne Greene will be used for years to come. OCTLA 1, Lakers 0.