California Official Court Reporters Association

Professional Practice : Reporting Jury Voir Dire

Writing jury voir dire has got to be the bane of an official court reporter’s existence. Below are three different jury voir dire brief systems used by three different officials. Hope one works for you, or you can mix and match.

Sample I

Submitted by Paige Moser, CSR, RMR, CRR
Los Angeles Superior Court

I like to have one-strike briefs for colloquy. One of the easiest ways to define different speakers in the courtroom is using the answer bar with a few key letters on the left-hand side of the keypad. For instance:

KL-FRPBLGTS = THE CLERK
BL-FRPBLGTS = THE BAILIFF
D-FRPBLGTS = THE DEFENDANT

I use something similar for jury voir dire. I use my written-out numbers with the answer bank to define prospective jurors. In my main dictionary, they are defined as follows:

WU*N PROSPECTIVE ALTERNATE JUROR NO. 1
TW*O PROSPECTIVE ALTERNATE JUROR NO. 2
THR*E PROSPECTIVE ALTERNATE JUROR NO. 3
FO*ER PROSPECTIVE ALTERNATE JUROR NO. 4
and then for the six pack when choosing the alternates:
THROA*EN PROSPECTIVE ALTERNATE JUROR NO. 13
FRAO*EN PROSPECTIVE ALTERNATE JUROR NO. 14
FOA*EN PROSPECTIVE ALTERNATE JUROR NO. 15
SKAO*EN PROSPECTIVE ALTERNATE JUROR NO. 16
SFAO*EN PROSPECTIVE ALTERNATE JUROR NO. 17
AO*EN PROSPECTIVE ALTERNATE JUROR NO. 18

I then have created a Jury Dictionary. Into that dictionary I have copied these same entries, but they are redefined as Juror No. 1, Juror No. 2, Juror No. 3, up through Juror No. 12 only, and Alternate Juror No. 1 through 4, etc. After a jury has been sworn, then I apply my Jury Dictionary from that point forward, and the juror indications come out correctly. (Remember to define all of your misstrokes into your Jury Dictionary as well.)


Sample II

Submitted by Janice Scott, CSR, RPR, CRR
Alameda County Superior Court

I have identified each juror seat with one stroke and alternate
juror seats with two.

The following are the briefs I use when identifying a juror:

STKPWHROPB JUROR NUMBER 1
STKPWHRAO JUROR NUMBER 2
STKPWHRAE JUROR NUMBER 3
STKPWHROR JUROR NUMBER 4
STKPWHREUF JUROR NUMBER 5
STKPWHREUBGS JUROR NUMBER 6
STKPWHREFPB JUROR NUMBER 7
STKPWHRAEUT JUROR NUMBER 8
STKPWHRAOEUPB JUROR NUMBER 9
STKPWHREPB JUROR NUMBER 10
STKPWHR*EFPB JUROR NUMBER 11
STKPWHREFL JUROR NUMBER 12
STKPWHROPB ALTERNATE JUROR NUMBER 1
STKPWHRAO ALTERNATE JUROR NUMBER 2
STKPWHRAE ALTERNATE JUROR NUMBER 3
STKPWHROR ALTERNATE JUROR NUMBER 4

Sample III

Submitted by Pam Fisk, CSR
San Mateo County Superior Court

Hit each stroke twice to indicate juror:

PRUPB PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 1
PRAO PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 2
PRAOE PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 3
PROER PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 4
PRAOEUF PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 5
PREUBGS PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 6
PREF PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 7
PRAEUT PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 8
PRAOEUPB PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 9
PREPB PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 10
PHREF PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 11
PREL PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 12
PREURPB PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 13
PROERPB PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 14
PRAOEPB PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 15
PRAOEBGS PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 16
PRAOEFS PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 17
PRAEUPB PROSPECTIVE JUROR NO. 18
WAULT ALTERNATE NO. 1
TAULT ALTERNATE NO. 2
THRALT ALTERNATE NO. 3
TPAULT ALTERNATE NO. 4
TPRAULT ALTERNATE NO. 5
SALT ALTERNATE NO. 6