Duren et al v. E I duPont de Nemours and Company et al
ORDER re voir dire questions. Signed by Judge D. P. Marshall Jr. on 7/5/12. (kpr)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF ARKANSAS
JAMES DUREN; ANN DUREN;
J.J.'S TRUCK STOP, INC.; and
AL'S TRUCK STOP OF MALVERN, INC.
E:I. DUPONT DE NEMOURS AND
DuPont has asked the Court to ask twenty-two questions during voir
Document No. 125. The Court will ask these questions, either as
proposed or as modified to be clearer or fairer or both: 7, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14,
15, 16, 17, 19, & 20. The Court will not ask proposed questions 4, 6, 18, 21, &
22 because the issue will be covered in another question the Court will ask.
The Court will not ask proposed questions 5 or 8: these are the kind of
"commitment" questions that the Court instructed counsel not to ask. The
Court will repeatedly instruct the jury throughout the trial to keep an open
mind. And the Court will instruct on the burden of proof at least twice.
Questions 1, 2, & 3 deserve comment. Each contains several sentences
of explanation before finally getting down to the question. This back story
necessarily shades into advocacy and issue framing. This is one of the things
the Court cautioned against at the pretrial: starting to try the case in voir dire.
Counsel must avoid doing this in their questioning. Don't explain. Just ask
questions. Otherwise the Court will intervene. The Court will ask modified
versions of the questions proposed in the last sentence of 1, 2, & 3.
5 July 2012
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