Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 47

Rule 47. Selecting Jurors

(a) EXAMINING JURORS. The court may permit the parties or their attorneys to examine prospective jurors or may itself do so. If the court examines the jurors, it must permit the parties or their attorneys to make any further inquiry it considers proper, or must itself ask any of their additional questions it considers proper.

(b) PEREMPTORY CHALLENGES. The court must allow the number of peremptory challenges provided by 28 U.S.C. § 1870.

(c) EXCUSING A JUROR. During trial or deliberation, the court may excuse a juror for good cause.

Essential Points

What is voir dire?

Voir dire is the process whereby prospective jurors are asked questions to vet them as suitable jurors.
  • In the United States jurors are selected randomly from a pool of potential jurors.  After receiving notification, potential jurors report to a courthouse.  Before being selected for a case jurors are questioned by judges or attorneys to determine whether they can be impartial.
  • Attorneys are allowed up to three peremptory challenges pursuant to 28 USC § 1870  – – they can ask the court to reject three potential jurors without a reason.  Attorneys must provide reasons to ask a judge to reject any additional jurors.