Chapter 3 - § 3.8 VOIR DIRE



➢ Court's Role. "An orientation and examination shall be conducted to inform prospective jurors about their duties and service and to obtain information about prospective jurors to facilitate an intelligent exercise of challenges for cause and peremptory challenges." C.R.C.P. 47(a). The judge is to initiate the voir dire examination by explaining to the prospective jurors the grounds for challenge for cause and each juror's duty to volunteer information that would constitute a disqualification or give rise to a challenge for cause, by identifying the parties and their respective counsel, and by briefly outlining the nature of the case, utilizing the parties' CJI Instruction 2:1 or a joint statement of factual information. C.R.C.P. 47(a)(2). The judge may ask prospective jurors any questions that the judge deems necessary, including questions regarding the juror's qualifications to serve on the jury panel. C.R.C.P. 47(a)(3).
➢ General; Purpose. After the court asks questions of prospective jurors, the parties or their counsel shall be permitted to ask the prospective jurors additional questions. C.R.C.P. 47(a)(3). The purpose of a voir dire examination is to enable the court and the parties to select a fair and impartial jury. Oglesby v. Conger, 507 P.2d 883, 885 (Colo. App. 1972).

➢ Time Allowed. The parties or their counsel shall be permitted to ask the prospective jurors questions. A court may reasonably limit the time available for voir dire examination based on the needs of the case. A party may request additional time for juror examination. Any request shall include the reasons for needing additional time. Denial of a request for additional time shall be based on a specific finding of good cause reflecting the nature of the case and other factors that the court determines are relevant. C.R.C.P. 47(a)(3).

➢ Scope. It is within the discretion of the trial court to limit the scope and conduct of voir dire in the interest of judicial economy. People v. Rivers, 727 P.2d 394, 399 (Colo. App. 1986). A trial court's decision to limit voir dire is reviewed for an abuse of discretion. Herrera v. Lerma, 2018 COA 141, ¶ 27.

➢ Questions During Voir Dire. The parties or their counsel are permitted to ask prospective jurors questions. A trial court has discretion over the specific voir dire questions that are asked and the manner in which they are asked. The court may limit or terminate repetitious, irrelevant, unreasonably lengthy,

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