The opinion of the court was delivered by: John Gleeson, United States District Judge
This order addresses jury selection and the conduct of the upcoming trial. The parties are directed to appear before the court for a conference on these subjects on April 9, 2003 at 3:00 p.m.
1. Completion of the Questionnaires — April 21, 2003
Approximately 450 prospective jurors have been summoned to appear in the ceremonial courtroom on April 21, 2003. They will fill out a questionnaire in two sessions, one beginning at 9:00 a.m., the other at 11:30 a.m. A draft questionnaire is attached, and the comments of counsel on its contents will be invited at the April 9 conference.
Counsel and I will meet in another courtroom on April 21 at 8:45 a.m. and will enter the ceremonial courtroom together at 9:00 a.m. After the prospective jurors are placed under oath, I will explain to them briefly that they will complete the questionnaire, turn it in, and leave. They will be informed with regard to calling in (or being called) to receive instructions as to returning the following week. Court employees will then distribute copies of the questionnaires. Once the prospective jurors begin filling out the questionnaires, counsel and I will leave the courtroom. Court employees will be posted at the doors and will collect a questionnaire from each prospective juror as he or she leaves. The same procedure will be repeated at 11:30 a.m.
There will be no introductions of (or participation by) counsel at these two sessions. The questionnaires will be numbered consecutively and placed in random order before they are distributed to the prospective jurors.
On the afternoon of April 21, the questionnaires will be placed in numerical order by court staff and transported to an outside copying facility. At the expense of the parties, 8 copies will be made: 2 for the court, 2 for plaintiffs, and 4 for defendants. The original questionnaires will remain at all times in the custody of the Clerk's office, and will be maintained in the Clerk's vault after they have been copied.
By 12:00 p.m. on the afternoon of Wednesday, April 23, 2003, each party shall serve and file a list of jurors (by questionnaire number) who, in the party's view, should be excused (for cause or on hardship grounds) based on the questionnaire. Visa and MasterCard are strongly encouraged to submit a joint list if feasible.
A conference will be held on April 24, 2003, at 9:30 a.m., for the purpose of hearing challenges for cause and excusing prospective jurors on hardship applications based on the questionnaires.
Individual voir dire will commence on April 28, 2003, at 9:00 a.m. I will conduct a brief, individual voir dire of each prospective juror, at the conclusion of which I will hear any challenges for cause. Counsel will not examine the prospective jurors.
When 18 prospective jurors have been qualified, they will be brought into the courtroom together and seated in order. At the sidebar, each side will then exercise three peremptory challenges, one per side in each of three rounds. The plaintiffs will go first in rounds 1 and 3; the defendants (acting jointly) will go first in round 2. Twelve jurors will remain if all challenges are used. Only twelve jurors will be seated; thus, a ...