In civil cases, potential jurors are asked questions by the judge and the lawyers to determine whether each person is qualified to serve. This questioning process, which is called voir dire, is conducted either individually or in groups or panels. A potential juror who is related to any of the parties or who has already formed an opinion about the case will be excused and another potential juror substituted.
In Superior Court, this process is continued until there is a full panel of 24 members from which a jury of 12 may be selected. One or more alternate jurors may be selected to replace any juror who becomes ill or must leave due to an emergency. Selection continues by a process called striking the jury, which is so named because the parties alternately strike names from the panel until the number of potential jurors is reduced by one-half. The remaining jurors will be administered the juror’s oath and will constitute the jury that will try the case. A lawyer’s decision to strike any potential juror should not be interpreted as a reflection on that person’s qualifications as a juror.