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How long does jury selection take in New York in a negligence, medical malpractice or wrongful death case?

 

A: It used to take more than a week to pick a jury in an accident case, medical malpractice case or wrongful death case 20 years ago.

However, currently, depending upon the number of people you have sued, it can take 1-2 days. The state court system has made great strides in reducing the inefficiencies that occur with the jury selection process. However, that means that each attorney has a very limited time within which to ask jurors questions to determine if they are the right ones for their case.

That means that each attorney may only get 15-20 minutes to talk to ask relevant questions.

The problem with limiting each attorney's ability to interact with potential jurors, is that you do not get a full understanding of whether or not a potential juror can be impartial in a particular case.

It is never a great idea to simply come out and ask “Can you be fair and impartial in this case?”

Why not?

The answer is that nobody will ever admit that they are biased or impartial. Certainly not in a setting where they are surrounded by 20 other members of the community, and are sitting in front of lawyers who are now grilling them about whether they can be fair.

Also, if there are many defense attorneys, each one has an opportunity to address the jurors in the room. That will naturally extend the time in which we have to pick a jury.