Slides to Use When Voir Dire in a DUI Case Is Limited

From Innovative DUI Trial Tools by Bruce Kapsack

With the increase of limited voir dire, it has become incumbent upon counsel to be prepared to ask quick, simple questions in order to pick a jury. While I do not favor allowing this trend to continue or expand (see the arguments in the beginning of this chapter) I am familiar with reality. The following power point slides were developed based on ideas from Robert Hischorn to deal with this problem.

These are not inclusive and should be a good starting point for your own adaptation and use. Add more specific questions that relate to the issues in your particular case.

Simply put one up on a screen or poster board and ask each juror to give his or her numerical position. After every three or four jurors, re-read the question aloud to stop an avalanche of following the answer given by the preceding person. Either you—or even better, your client—can input the score for each juror. The higher the score, the better the juror.

This can be done so quickly that the prosecutor is not able to keep up. And the prosecutor will not necessarily know that jurors with the low scores are the ones that he or she wants.

The beauty of this system is, by creating a simple score card to record the number of the answer chosen by each juror, you can tell who you do and do not like. Be sure to draft all your questions the same way so that the higher numbered answers reveal jurors with attitudes that are favorable to the defense. Thus, the higher the total score, the more favorable the juror. It will not help you if good jurors get ones on some questions and sixes on others.

View PDF slides below (from Innovative DUI Trial Tools)

Fig. 2-01 Burden of Proof

Fig. 2-02 Guilt Based on Being Charged

Fig. 2-03 Guilt Based on Chemical Tests

Fig. 2-04 Guilt Based on Defendant’s Not Testifying

Fig. 2-05 Trustworthiness of Chemical Evidence

Fig. 2-06 Trustworthiness of Officer’s Opinion

Fig. 2-07 Guilt Based on Two Drinks

Fig. 2-08 Better to Free the Guilty Than Convict the Innocent

Fig. 2-09 Field Sobriety Tests and Ability to Drive Car

Fig. 2-10 Field Sobriety Tests and Ability to Judge Blood Alcohol Level

Bruce Kapsack originated many of the DUI defense strategies used throughout the country.  He has worked or lectured with virtually every nationally-known expert in the DUI arena, and his DUI lectures for the California State Bar and the California Public Defenders are among the best attended in the state. Mr. Kapsack is an Instructor of NHTSA’s Standardized Field Sobriety Tests.

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