A potentially discriminatory question asked of jurors by Dallas County Jury Services staff members threatened a panel seated to hear a half-billion-dollar trade secret case recently and has prompted officials to tighten the juror dismissal policy.

As part of the process to determine whether people were qualified to sit as jurors, civil jury staff members asked potential jurors who indicated they had trouble speaking English how long they had been U.S. citizens. If the potential jurors responded they had been citizens for less than six months, they were dismissed, according to courthouse officials.