Massachusetts Now Permits Attorney Conducted Voir Dire and Arguments on Specific Amounts of Damages

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On August 6, 2014, Massachusetts Governor Deval L. Patrick signed into law a bill that will permit attorney conducted voir dire in Massachusetts. The bill was backed by the Massachusetts Bar Association. Until now, voir dire in Massachusetts was conducted almost exclusively by judges. The new law permits attorneys to question jurors in civil and criminal trials throughout the Superior Court, making Massachusetts consistent with 39 other states that permit attorney conducted voir dire. The bill gives discretion to judges to impose "reasonable limitations" on the voir dire process. Additionally, the new law permits plaintiffs to "suggest a specific monetary amount for damage at trial."

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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