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Jury Duty Volunteers Needed in Laramie

PHOTO: University of Wyoming College of Law students will practice selecting juries this Saturday, and volunteer "jurors" are needed. Photo credit: Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association
PHOTO: University of Wyoming College of Law students will practice selecting juries this Saturday, and volunteer "jurors" are needed. Photo credit: Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association
September 30, 2013

LARAMIE, Wyo. - It's often called the most important part of a trial, whether civil or criminal, and yet it's not always taught in law school. That's why there's a jury selection training and competition this Saturday, Oct. 5. It's a practice session for University of Wyoming College of Law students, and volunteer jurors are needed.

Attorney Jason Tangeman, past president of the Wyoming Trial Lawyers Association (WTLA) and Student Chapter Committee member, has been involved in the event for five years.

"When I went to law school, there certainly were trial-practice classes - some discussion about jury selection, but no real substantive education or instruction," Tangeman recalled.

He said students will learn to assess juror backgrounds and how to ask questions to get jurors to share views. The annual Voir Dire competition is sponsored by the WTLA. ("Voir dire" is court-speak for jury selection.)

The law students will gain insights in selecting juries for civil and criminal trials during the event. Tangeman said there's an educational component for the public, too.

"Hopefully, we will dispel some of the unfair negativity about serving on a jury, because jury service is an obligation and a duty that each one of us as citizens needs to fulfill," Tangeman said.

Eighteen teams will compete. Volunteer registration can be done online or by phone at www.wytla.org or 307-635-0820.

Deborah Courson Smith/Deb Courson Smith, Public News Service - WY