Voir dire regarding preponderance of the evidence

We all know that it is very important the juryunderstand that the standard of proof for our case is simply more probably truethen not true. It is not that of a criminal case. We must start educating them about this in voir dire and continue the process throughout the trial. In opening statement you cover the point. On direct examination, you remind the witness (for the jury’s benefit) thestandard is more probably true then not true. In cross,you do the same.You diagram it for them in argument. In my opinion no one does a better job oflaying out how to do this invoir dire then David Ball. What follows is my attempt to restate David’s work. OnlyDavid does it right, but this might be helpful t o you to work on for your own approach.

PREPONDERANCE VOIR DIRE

In trials like this, jurors make their decision on the basis of whether my side is more probably right then not In other words are proof has to be more probably true that not true.

Some people think that more probably true that not trueisn’t fair because it makes things a little too easy for our side of the case. Other people feel that having to prove our case is more probably true that not true is okay.

Q. So are you a little closer to people who think it is a little unfair, a little too easy for our case? Or are you a little closer to the people who think it’s okay?

(PLEASE TELL ME ABOUT THAT)

I need to ask this because you will be required to make your decisions on the basis of whether are proof is more probably true that not true.

We expect to show you far more than that, but the defendants agree that the law is we have to prove our case is more probably true that not true. So even if someone has doubts or thinks but believes the proof is more probably true that not true they are required to decide the question in our favor under the law.

Q. Is everyone comfortable with the law on this?

Jurors have certain rights. It’s important for you to exercise these rights when necessary so I want to ask you about them.

First, you have the right to hear all the testimony. Every word. If you can’t hear or don’t hear what a witness says will you raise your hand & tell the judge that?

Second and even more important, you have the right to clearly understand the law. You have the right to know that every other juror clearly and correctly understands the law. You have the right to have every juror follow the law as given by the judge.

Q Would you be comfortableasking your foreperson to report to the bailiff if someone is not following the law?

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