An Essential Training on New Court Rule 1:8-3A
Date: Dec 12, 2022 9:00 a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Areas of Law:
Earn up to 2.4 credits, including 2.4 in Diversity! (More Information)
Following a New Jersey Supreme Court decision and a Judicial Conference focused on ways to reduce discrimination and bias, the Court in July 2022 announced plans to improve jury selection processes. In addition to Court Rule amendments and implicit bias awareness strategies implemented in September and an ongoing pilot program on attorney-conducted voir dire, the Court announced changes to the longstanding framework to objections to peremptory challenges.
New Court Rule 1:8-3A (“Reduction of Bias in the Exercise of Peremptory Challenges”) will be effective in all civil and criminal jury selections as of January 1, 2023. The new rule, as recommended by the Judicial Conference Committee and approved by the Court, eliminates the first prong of the Batson/Gilmore framework and substitutes a process designed to be more straightforward and less accusatory, based on an objective standard. The content and comments draw substantially from the approach adopted by Washington in 2018 and established in General Rule 37.
Rule 1:8-3A introduces the following approach:
- A party seeks to exercise a peremptory challenge;
- The court or another party requests review;
- The first party states the reason for use of the peremptory; and
- The court determines whether a reasonable, fully informed person would conclude that the peremptory challenge was exercised to remove a prospective juror based on the juror’s actual or perceived membership in a group protected under the United States or New Jersey Constitutions or the New Jersey Law Against Discrimination.
This program will involve three parts:
- Introduction to the New Jersey Rule, highlighting its key provisions and the guidance to attorneys provided in the Supreme Court’s Official Comment
- Discussion by Judge Veronica Galván (King County, Washington State) as to Washington General Rule 37 and its effects on peremptories and objections to peremptories over the past few years
- Panel discussion and questions with Judge Galván and New Jersey judges who participated in the development of Rule 1:8-3A
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