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When Picking A Jury, What Is Most Important To My Attorney?

When Picking A Jury, What Is Most Important To My Attorney?

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“An unlimited amount of ‘cause’ disqualifications. Somebody say something like, ‘my father’s been incarcerated for 17 years’, …cause…

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“But in that scenario, that’s not enough cause.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“That isn’t?”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“It is not.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“That surprises me!”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“Right. And in some ways, it can be difficult from my standpoint because you could see…in the prosecutor’s standpoint that would not be somebody that the prosecutor would want to hear the case. That person would have to say something like…’and I don’t think I could be unbiased’. They would have to actually make some sort of similar statement. ‘I couldn’t listen to the evidence fairly’. There would be something there to make the lack of bias obvious.

Even though, as you and I sit here today, we know full well that we all sit with biases. And if I’ve been a victim of a crime, there’s a good chance that I’m not going to be able to be completely neutral when I’m listening to evidence against somebody charged with a crime. But I can’t kick them off unless they say…for cause, unless they say that.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Obviously, you want to be able to pull that out in a conversation, in a question and answer, with them.”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“Right. And the other thing that’s important for me during the jury selection…there’s two other big things, I think. And one is…I want to start establishing credibility with the jury. Right. If the jury doesn’t like me, the jury doesn’t believe me, that’s going to hurt my client in a very big way. So, I try to start a rapport with the entire panel right then and there. And the other thing is I want to see how some of these jurors interact with each other. I want to know if somebody is going to stand up for their convictions.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“They’re going to be cooperative and communicative with the other people in the jury panel.”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“For sure important, but also not willing to give up their viewpoint just because somebody disagrees with them.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Right. Because all you need is one.”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“All you need is one…right.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“That’s, obviously, what you are looking for. And you want somebody that’s going to stand firm.”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“Right. And there’s some general rules that the attorneys will tell you about jury selection. One of them is that you would never leave another lawyer on the jury. That’s just kind of this unwritten rule. And I’ve actually done it twice…purposely left a lawyer on a jury panel. And it’s worked out very well. Once was because I had a very technical defense under the statute. I knew that attorney knew how to read a statute, and parse it out, and see what the defense really was.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“He would understand it, where a common layman, not involved with the law, would just kind of gloss it over.”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“Right. And another time, the gal happened to have worked for a public defender’s office at some point in her career. And I knew she was going to have an open mind and listen to a defense. I don’t know why the prosecutor left her on.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Really?”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“Yeah, that was weird.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“That’s one of those…hindsight is 20/20. So, what are the other ‘unwritten’ rules, general rules?”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“Some, I think, we should…I do abide by. If I’m representing a criminal defendant, generally speaking, older religious people are going to be somebody I’m going to try to stay away from. People that are obviously conservative I’m going to try to stay away from. I think that you try to see ‘eye contact’ with people. And if somebody’s not willing to make eye contact with you, you, generally, don’t want them on.”

Ray Hrdlicka – Host – Attorneys.Media

“Well, it might be an indication they don’t like you, right off the bat.”

Spencer Freeman – Criminal Defense Attorney – Pierce County, WA

“It might be absolutely true. And some people aren’t really happy about being there. And if you know somebody’s really unhappy about being there, it’s a risk having them on the jury pool, because they may take it out on your client.”


Born and raised in Colorado, Mr. Freeman stayed in the Pacific Northwest after graduating cum laude from Seattle University School of Law in 1995, at which time he was awarded the National Order of Barristers by the National Board of Governors. After gaining extensive trial experience as a prosecutor for the City of Tacoma, Mr. Freeman worked locally for several small law firms focused on personal injury and criminal defense. In 2000, he began to work at a downtown Seattle law firm, where he worked with some of the best lawyers in the nation. During the better part of the next six years, Mr. Freeman was blessed to do work for one of the largest national television providers litigating matters involving the theft of encrypted satellite signals. During this time, he worked closely with corporate counsel and assisted in developing and managing a national litigation campaign. He appeared in federal courts throughout the nation, gaining extensive experience in both federal court litigation and the pursuit of intellectual property thieves attempting to hide on the Internet.

In late 2005, Mr. Freeman decided to open a practice in Tacoma, where his family was growing. Mr. Freeman’s connections locally and nationally nourished his practice over time. He has served the local community as well as handling cases in federal courts across the country. Locally, Mr. Freeman has assisted local businesses in such matters as contentious shareholder disputes and individuals in matters ranging from catastrophic injuries to class A felonies as well as lawsuits against insurance companies for bad faith claims practices. He tried a Whatcom County Superior Court case for a bail bond company that resulted in the first appellate law in Washington truly outlining the rights of fugitive recovery agents. He has tried cases in many counties throughout the State of Washington, argued before the Court of Appeals Division I and Division II and the Washington State Supreme Court.

Mr. Freeman’s practice has taken him beyond Washington State, where he has handled cases for national Internet multi-media companies enforcing copyrights in states such as Florida, Nevada, Arizona, and California. In those cases, he has successfully argued for jurisdiction in the United States against individuals that reside in other countries. Mr. Freeman also represented a publisher against sheriffs regarding First Amendment Rights to distribute a magazine in county jails, resulting in arguments before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the first case law of its kind. He has argued before the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals five times and submitted a briefing to the United States Supreme Court.

On more than several occasions, Mr. Freeman has been retained by parties on the near eve of a trial solely for purpose of being lead trial counsel. One such successful case was against the U.S. Department of Justice in their first trial attempting to enforce the CAN-SPAM Act for the actions of independent contractors.

Mr. Freeman’s passion and strength lay in front of a jury. He finds a beautiful balance between fact witnesses, statutes, case law, rules of evidence, and the different contexts of each jury. Most cases find a resolution before trial, but the best resolution occurs when counsel is prepared to try the case. And, when a case cannot find resolution, Mr. Freeman loves to go to work.

Contact Attorney:

Phone: 253-383-4500
Freeman Law Firm, Inc. is one of the most reputable and reliable attorney enterprises with two locations in Tacoma and Olympia, WA.

Industry Skills:

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  • Civil Litigation
  • Appeals
  • Criminal Law
  • Legal Research
  • Litigation Management
  • Depositions
  • Criminal Defense
  • Hearings
  • Negotiation
  • Legal Writing
  • Copyright Law
  • Licensing
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  • Commercial Litigation
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