VOIR DIRE CONSIDERATIONS IN TRAUMATIC BRAIN INJURY CASES Theodore G. Karavidas, Esq. Karavidas & Argionis Law Offices, LLP 180 North LaSalle Street, Suite 2105 Chicago, IL 60601 312-782-4545 firstname.lastname@example.org www.karavidaslaw.com www.illinoisbraininjury.com
GOALS OF VOIR DIRE • Deselect • Deselect those who have negative or inflexible attitudes or perceptions. • Educate • Educate those who are open-minded and want to hear the evidence and decide fairly. • Endear • Endear the jurors to you and your client by being polite, sincere, and honest. • Elicit information without embarrassing anyone.
QUALITIES OF A DESIREABLE JUROR • Compassion • Educability • Cooperativeness • Independent Reasonableness
COMPASSION • Family Involvement • Charitable Nature • Pets • Donations
EDUCABILITY • Look for jurors who are: • Educable • Open-Minded • Willing to be Educated • Our goal is to find out which jurors have an understanding of TBI issues or are capable and willing to accept them • Jurors who do not understand significance and details of a TBI will not return an adequate verdict for the plaintiff
COOPERATIVENESS/INDEPENDENT REASONABLENESS • Identify jurors who can work with others to achieve a goal, reach a consensus • Identify potential forepersons • Identify those persons who will make independent decisions while remaining open to the input of others • Identify loners and contrarians who will have difficulty working with others.
GOOD JURORS • Those who understand importance of unimpaired brain function • Well-Educated • Executive Positions • Decision-Makers • Problem-Solvers • Multi-Taskers • Required to be Precise • Those who understand importance of new learning capability • Educators • Trainers • Problem-Solvers
Bad Jurors Those with diminished mental capacities Elderly Difficulty with Attention/Concentration Without Significant Executive Function or Problem-Solving Demands Questionable Jurors Those with family members afflicted with Alzheimers PRO: Understand effects of diminished mental capacity CON: Possible reduced empathy CON: If plaintiff is elderly, defense will argue that changes are age-related LESS DESIREABLE JURORS
BRAIN INJURY EXPERIENCE • Identify those jurors who have some knowledge or personal experience regarding TBI and its consequences • Identify those jurors who have knowledge regarding the effects of diminished cognitive abilities due to Alzheimer’s
BRAIN INJURY PERCEPTIONS • Identify experience, training in medicine, psychology, rehabilitation or counseling • Identify misperceptions about the causes, manifestations or consequences of TBI • Educate jurors about the causes, manifestations, and consequences of TBI