Topic: Questions About “The Law”

Voir Dire Lessons from Trial: Defense Perspective

Earlier this week, in a medical malpractice wrongful death trial in Gainesville, the defense lawyers did a very thorough job questioning the prospective jurors during voir dire. Below are a few of the questions they used to evaluate the panel from the defense perspective. Defendant, Mrs. X, represents the hospital. She has a right to be in the courtroom. She has a right to defend herself. She says she didn’t […]

November 10, 2017

Supreme Court Approves Paraphrasing of Standard Jury Instruction during Voir Dire

During jury selection in a first degree murder case, the prosecutor paraphrased the standard jury instruction on premeditation, and made certain statements regarding the presumption of innocence. The Supreme Court held it was not error to do so because the prosecutor’s comments were “largely identical to the standard jury instruction,” and, at the conclusion of the case, the jury was correctly instructed on both the presumption of innocence and premeditation. Belcher […]

July 23, 2007

Court Approves “Hypothetical Questions” in Voir Dire

The Third District Court of Appeal recently approved the use of hypothetical questions by counsel during jury selection provided the questions are “designed to determine whether the jurors could correctly apply the law.” In Moore v. State, 939 So. 2d 1116 (Fla. 3 DCA 2006) the Court approved the use of hypothetical questions designed to explain the difference between testimonial evidence and physical evidence to prospective jurors.

October 31, 2006