Navigating the Top Landmines of Civil Litigation: How to Survive (continued)

The second potential landmine in civil litigation exists in selecting a jury.

Land Mine #2: Jury Selection

In order to preserve your right to challenge errors in the manner used to select the jury, you must object at trial to the jury as finally composed. Otherwise, you waive your right to complain on appeal.

To preserve your right to challenge error in refusing to excuse a potential juror for cause, you must exhaust all peremptory challenges and make a request for additional peremptory challenges. You must show that you were forced to accept the objectionable juror, and this juror actually sat on the jury. Additionally, you must identify to the trial court the particular objectionable juror whom you would have struck had peremptory challenges not been exhausted. After objecting to the denial of a peremptory challenge by the trial court, or the use of a peremptory challenge by opposing counsel, you must renew your objection before the jury is sworn to preserve the jury selection issue for appellate review.

Next week we will focus on Land Mine #3: Admission and Exclusion of Evidence

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