Kindergarten is a microcosm of life, wherein little people come together who do not know each other and must learn to get along, cooperate and solve problems. In kindergarten, children learn to work through problems. Serving on a jury requires a parallel process: Jurors come together with all different life experiences and they must work together to reach a verdict. There are several basic life lessons that we all learn in kindergarten that jurors will undoubtedly bring to the courtroom with them. Applying this understanding to jury selection and trial will ensure that litigators maximize their time in voir dire and obtain the jurors best suited for their cases.
1. Right and wrong. Much pride is had in teaching children right from wrong, but it is in kindergarten where many children have the chance to put what they have learned in life to the test. Likewise, in the courtroom, jurors want to discover on a very basic level who is right and who is wrong. Does someone need to be taught a lesson? Jurors will be asking themselves this question and it is up to you to explain why or why not.
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