Four New York courts to test civil voir dire changes.New York New York, state, United States
New York, Middle Atlantic state of the United States. It is bordered by Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, and the Atlantic Ocean (E), New Jersey and Pennsylvania (S), Lakes Erie and Ontario and the Canadian province of state will begin experiments in four courts this month to test proposed changes in voir dire voir dire
(Anglo-French; “to speak the truth”)
In law, the act or process of questioning prospective jurors to determine whether they are qualified and suitable for service on a jury. procedures in civil cases.
Judges participating in the pilot programs will use and evaluate
* mandatory settlement conferences before voir dire,
* three levels of judicial supervision during voir dire,
* designated and undesignated alternate jurors,
* time limits on questioning by attorneys, and
* three different methods of jury selection.
The pilot programs, each to run from January to May 1995, will test some of the measures recommended in Chief Judge Judith Kaye's recently announced package of court policy changes and legislative proposals. (See Gary Spencer, Far-Ranging Jury System Changes Adopted, N.Y.L.J., Oct. 25, 1994, at 1.)
That package included some reference to nearly all 80 recommendations made by the ambitious Jury Project report issued last spring by a 30-member commission that studied New York's jury system. (See Civil Voir Dire Attacked in New York Jury Report, TRIAL, June 1994, at 96.)
Some recommendations will be executed directly by the court in new administrative policies, some will require new legislation, and some will be tested in pilot programs. Not mentioned at all in Kaye's final package was a proposed $1,000 voir dire fee that was opposed by Stephan Peskin, immediate past president of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association.
In a statement made when announcing the policy changes, Chief Administrative Judge E. Leo Leo, in astronomy
Leo [Lat.,=the lion], northern constellation lying S of Ursa Major and on the ecliptic (apparent path of the sun through the heavens) between Cancer and Virgo; it is one of the constellations of the zodiac. Milonas said the reform program had three primary objectives: "creating a jury system that operates efficiently and effectively, enlarging the jury pools to include all who are qualified, and making jury service a positive experience for citizens."
Many of the changes deal with using jurors more efficiently and removing procedures that jurors irritating. For example, the court will stop using "permanent qualified lists" of jurors that result in the same jurors being called as soon as they are again eligible. In addition, the court will work toward limting jury service to one day or one trial, and will ask the legislature to increase daily compensation from $15 to $40 and to abolish occupational exemptions for all but judges. The court also will use unemployment and welfare rolls to expand diversity among prospective jurors.
New legislation will be required to reduce the number of peremptory challenges allowed in criminal cases by roughly one-third, to eliminate mandatory sequestering Particle Physics
In particle physics, sequestering is a procedure of isolating different types of physical processes or different particle species by separating them geometrically in additional dimensions of space. of jurors in criminal cases, and to encourage settlements in civil cases by awarding prejudgment pre·judge
tr.v. pre·judged, pre·judg·ing, pre·judg·es
To judge beforehand without possessing adequate evidence.
pre·judg interest against defendants who lose at trial after rejecting a compromise.
The pilot programs will test various ways of selecting jurors as well as voir dire changes. Civil voir dire was singled out for criticism in the Jury Project report. Attorney Colleen col·leen
An Irish girl.
[Irish Gaelic cailín, diminutive of caile, girl, from Old Irish. McMahon, chair of the commission that produced the report, accused attorneys of using voir dire as "a settlement tool" and noted that over 40 percent of civil cases that went to voir dire were settled before trial began. Jurors who were called for those cases are unavailable to serve again for at least two years.
The voir dire changes will be tested in urban, suburban, and rural areas. Courts involved are in Manhattan, Nassau County Nassau County is the name of two counties in the United States of America:
Richard Gurfein, president-elect of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association, said that some of the procedures being tested may run contrary to other administrative measures that emphasize efficient use of a trial judge's time. For example, "If the judge is going to oversee the entire voir dire process from start to finish, that could create judicial gridlock Gridlock
A government, business or institution's inability to function at a normal level due either to complex or conflicting procedures within the administrative framework or to impending change in the business. in heavy caseload case·load
The number of cases handled in a given period, as by an attorney or by a clinic or social services agency.
Noun counties," Gurfein said.
Also, settlement conferences during the pilot programs will be held before trial judges, not before trial assignment judges as they now are. That could make them more effective, but presiding over settlement conferences is yet another drain on the judges' time, said Gurfein.
Some of the measures being tested seem logically to require legislative support that has not yet been voted, he said. For example, mandatory settlement conferences would almost certainly be more effective with prejudgment interest in place. Judge Kaye has proposed legislation to change sections 3221 and 5001 of the state's Civil Practice Law & Rules to allow interest to accumulate starting one year after commencement of a legal action.
"Prejudgment interest will go a long way to getting more expeditious ex·pe·di·tious
Acting or done with speed and efficiency. See Synonyms at fast1.
ex settlements," said Gurfein. "If the defendant was not benefiting from holding onto the money, you would get settlements earlier."
"Some of the changes in New York's jury system are state-of-the-art and others are state-of-the-nation," said G. Thomas Munsterman, director of the Center for Jury Studies at the National Center for State Courts The National Center for State Courts, or NCSC, is a non-profit organization charged with improving judicial administration in the United States and around the world. It functions as a think-tank, library, non-profit consulting firm for the courts, advocate for judicial and . He said many of the proposed rules are already common in other states. (Jan Hoffman, New York's Top Judge Plans an Overhaul of Juror juror n. any person who actually serves on a jury. Lists of potential jurors are chosen from various sources such as registered voters, automobile registration or telephone directories. System, N.Y. Times, Oct. 25, 1994, at A1.)
The state legislature A state legislature may refer to a legislative branch or body of a political subdivision in a federal system.
The following legislatures exist in the following political subdivisions: