What Can Go Wrong If You Don’t Pay Attention To Jury Selection?
Jury selection is serious business. When it's your case that's being decided, having the right people in the jury can make a huge difference in how things turn out. Likewise, having the wrong people on the jury can also doom your case before the opening statements.
Although the members of the jury themselves may not think much of the process, the attorneys who select the jury take this process very seriously. They know, from experience, just how bad things can get when even one wrong person ends up in the jury. Just how bad can things get?
You May Lose the Case
If you end up with even one person who has a bias against you on the jury, you could easily lose a case you may have thought was a walk in the park. If a jury member has an open bias against you, they can go to great lengths to convince the others to turn the outcome of the case against you. If you also had the misfortune of having other jury members who can be easily convinced or those who simply don't care enough to do anything about it, the case may be lost.
You Could End Up with a Hung Jury
If you consider the previous scenario, except this time you end up with other jurors who are a lot harder to convince, you could still end up with a hung jury. A hung jury is a better outcome than losing the case but it would still mean that you have to dedicate a lot of your time and resources to a whole new trial. Depending on your financial situation, this might be quite difficult.
You Could End Up with a Lower Settlement
Another way that poorly selected jurors can hurt your case is by getting you a much lower settlement than you hoped for. In such cases, even if you win, your victory may not amount to much. Such jurors may argue against punitive damages in a civil suit or make an argument that convinces the other jurors to reduce the awarded damages.
It's important that any juror that's chosen be willing to have an open mind about the case. Anyone who has already formed an opinion about the case, you or the type of people you represent is unlikely to give you a fair chance. This is why it's important to be keen during jury selection.