4th DCA Reaffirms Trial Lawyer’s Right To Adequate Time

February 3, 2006

A trial judge should not impose “arbitrary time limits” or “number-of-question” limits on voir dire. Judge Gary Farmer recently wrote an excellent opinion reaffirming the trial lawyer’s right to have an adequate amount of time to question prospective jurors during the voir dire examination. In Carver v. Niedermayer, 920 So2d 123 (Fla 4th DCA 2006), the Court held that the time limits imposed by the trial judge during voir dire were “arbitrary” and deprived counsel of a fair opportunity to identify prospective jurors for challenge. It is well established in Florida that it is error for a trial judge to impose arbitrary or unreasonable time limits or number-of-question limits on the voir dire examination of jurors. The trial attorney, Gregg Schlesinger, did a great job asserting his client’s rights and preserving the record for appeal. This opinion is well worth reading and should be a part of every lawyer’s trial notebook.