Rule 2.511 Impaneling the Jury

(A) Selection of Jurors.

(1) Persons who have not been discharged or excused as prospective jurors by the court are subject to selection for the action or actions to be tried during their term of service as provided by law.

(2) In an action that is to be tried before a jury, the names or corresponding numbers of the prospective jurors shall be deposited in a container, and the prospective jurors must be selected for examination by a random blind draw from the container.

(3) The court may provide for random selection of prospective jurors for examination from less than all of the prospective jurors not discharged or excused.

(4) Prospective jurors may be selected by any other fair and impartial method directed by the court or agreed to by the parties.

(B) Alternate Jurors. The court may direct that 7 or more jurors be impaneled to sit. After the instructions to the jury have been given and the action is ready to be submitted, unless the parties have stipulated that all the jurors may deliberate, the names of the jurors must be placed in a container and names drawn to reduce the number of jurors to 6, who shall constitute the jury. The court may retain the alternate jurors during deliberations. If the court does so, it shall instruct the alternate jurors not to discuss the case with any other person until the jury completes its deliberations and is discharged. If an alternate juror replaces a juror after the jury retires to consider its verdict, the court shall instruct the jury to begin its deliberations anew.

(C) Examination of Jurors; Discharge of Unqualified Juror. The court may conduct the examination of prospective jurors or may permit the attorneys to do so. When the court finds that a person in attendance at court as a juror is not qualified to serve as a juror, the court shall discharge him or her from further attendance and service as a juror.

(D) Challenges for Cause. The parties may challenge jurors for cause, and the court shall rule on each challenge. A juror challenged for cause may be directed to answer questions pertinent to the inquiry. It is grounds for a challenge for cause that the person:

(1) is not qualified to be a juror;

(2) is biased for or against a party or attorney;

(3) shows a state of mind that will prevent the person from rendering a just verdict, or has formed a positive opinion on the facts of the case or on what the outcome should be;

(4) has opinions or conscientious scruples that would improperly influence the person's verdict;

(5) has been subpoenaed as a witness in the action;

(6) has already sat on a trial of the same issue;

(7) has served as a grand or petit juror in a criminal case based on the same transaction;

(8) is related within the ninth degree (civil law) of consanguinity or affinity to one of the parties or attorneys;

(9) is the guardian, conservator, ward, landlord, tenant, employer, employee, partner, or client of a party or attorney;

(10) is or has been a party adverse to the challenging party or attorney in a civil action, or has complained of or has been accused by that party in a criminal prosecution;

(11) has a financial interest other than that of a taxpayer in the outcome of the action;

(12) is interested in a question like the issue to be tried.

Exemption from jury service is the privilege of the person exempt, not a ground for challenge.

(E) Peremptory Challenges.

(1) A juror peremptorily challenged is excused without cause.

(2) Each party may peremptorily challenge three jurors. Two or more parties on the same side are considered a single party for purposes of peremptory challenges. However, when multiple parties having adverse interests are aligned on the same side, three peremptory challenges are allowed to each party represented by a different attorney, and the court may allow the opposite side a total number of peremptory challenges not exceeding the total number of peremptory challenges allowed to the multiple parties.

(3) Peremptory challenges must be exercised in the following manner:

(a) First the plaintiff and then the defendant may exercise one or more peremptory challenges until each party successively waives further peremptory challenges or all the challenges have been exercised, at which point jury selection is complete.

(b) A “pass” is not counted as a challenge but is a waiver of further challenge to the panel as constituted at that time.

(c) If a party has exhausted all peremptory challenges and another party has remaining challenges, that party may continue to exercise their remaining peremptory challenges until such challenges are exhausted.

(F) Discrimination in the Selection Process.

(1) No person shall be subjected to discrimination during voir dire on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex.

(2) Discrimination during voir dire on the basis of race, color, religion, national origin, or sex for the purpose of achieving what the court believes to be a balanced, proportionate, or representative jury in terms of these characteristics shall not constitute an excuse or justification for a violation of this subsection.

(G) Replacement of Challenged Jurors. After the jurors have been seated in the jurors' box and a challenge for cause is sustained or a peremptory challenge or challenges exercised, another juror or other jurors must be selected and examined. Such jurors are subject to challenge as are previously seated jurors.

(H) Oath of Jurors; Instruction regarding prohibited actions.

   (1) The jury must be sworn by the clerk substantially as follows:

“Each of you do solemnly swear (or affirm) that, in this action now before the court, you will justly decide the questions submitted to you, that, unless you are discharged by the court from further deliberation, you will render a true verdict, and that you will render your verdict only on the evidence introduced and in accordance with the instructions of the court, so help you God.”

(2) The court shall instruct the jurors that until their jury service is concluded, they shall not

   (a)   discuss the case with others, including other jurors, except as otherwise    authorized by the court;

   (b)   read or listen to any news reports about the case;

   (c)   use a computer, cellular phone, or other electronic device with    communication capabilities while in attendance at trial or during    deliberation. These devices may be used during breaks or recesses but    may not be used to obtain or disclose information prohibited in subsection    (d) below;

   (d)   use a computer, cellular phone, or other electronic device with    communication capabilities, or any other method, to obtain or disclose    information about the case when they are not in court. As used in this    subsection, information about the case includes, but is not limited to, the    following:

   (i) information about a party, witness, attorney, or court officer;

   (ii)   news accounts of the case;

   (iii)   information collected through juror research on any topics raised or    testimony offered by any witness;

   (iv)   information collected through juror research on any other topic the juror    might think would be helpful in deciding the case.