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What are Preemptory Challenges

Fortunately for our client’s we are Board Certified Trial Lawyers. As many of you know this is the highest achievement a Florida Laywer may obtain. Although thankfully for our clients they have rarely personally experienced a jury trial, Matt and Steve are experts. One of the things we discuss with client’s are preemptory challenges. This term means what are how many potential jurors may be removed from a prospective jury panel just because the lawyer or the client doesn’t had a good “feel’ for that juror. Over the years law has developed that actually takes away some of that discretion to exercise a preemptory challenge. The law requires in certain situtions the opponent of this challenge may argue the stiking of a potential juror was for sinister reasons such as race or religion or ethnic origin. If such a motion is made the trial judge then asks for a race or gender or etnic nuetral reason for thwe strike. If the court determines the reason isn’t genuine; the person remains on the jury. Recently a person lost their trial and appealed. This issue came up on appeal. The Supreme court ruled the issue wasn’t preserved as although the person had a surname that would indicate they were from a protected class, the lawyers failed to put this evidence as part of the record. Perhpas a harsh ruling; but it empasizes why you must retain an “expert” trial lawyer for your case. Failure to do so may result in you paying the price for responding to a high volume advertising lawyer who never or rarely sees the courtroom, except of course when their filming their commercial.