Voir Dire Definition

Voir Dire

(vwah-deer) French for "to speak the truth," this is the questioning in court of prospective jurors by a judge or attorneys. The purpose is to determine if any juror is biased or cannot deal with the issues fairly, or if there is cause not to allow a juror to serve (such as knowledge of the facts or acquaintance with the parties or witnesses). When attorneys are allowed to conduct the voir dire, they often try to ask questions that will reveal individuals' personalities and political or cultural persuasions. In cases where the facts are shocking or the evidence is difficult to view, attorneys may also use voir dire as a way to introduce the issues so that the eventual jurors are prepared for what will happen at trial.