Juror Etiquette

scales A court session begins when the court officer raps for order. Everyone in the court rises. The judge takes his or her place on the bench, and the court officer announces the opening of court. A similar procedure is used when court adjourns. Common courtesy and politeness are safe guides as to the way jurors should act. Of course, no juror will be permitted to read a newspaper or magazine in the courtroom, nor should a juror carry on a conversation with another juror in the courtroom during the trial.

Jurors will be treated with consideration. Their comfort and convenience will be served whenever possible. Jurors should bring to the attention of the judge any matter affecting their service and should notify the court of any emergency. In the event of a personal emergency a juror may send word to the judge through any court personnel, or may ask to see the judge privately.

Jurors should give close attention to the testimony. They are sworn to disregard their prejudices and follow the Court’s instructions. They must render a verdict according to their best judgment.

Each juror should keep an open mind. Human experience shows that, once persons come to a preliminary conclusion as to a set of facts, they hesitate to change their views.

Similarly, jurors should not discuss the case even among themselves until it is finally concluded. Therefore, it is wise for jurors not even to attempt to make up their mind on the facts of a case until all the evidence has been presented to them, and they have been instructed on the law applicable to the case.