preservation of legal error for appellate review, and make a record sufficient to preserve appropriate and potentially meritorious legal issues for such appellate review unless there are strategic reasons for not doing so. As part of this effort, counsel should request, whenever necessary, that all trial proceedings, including voir dire, be recorded.
If appropriate, counsel should advise the client as to suitable courtroom dress and demeanor. If the client is incarcerated, counsel should be alert to the possible prejudicial effects of the client appearing before the jury in jail or other inappropriate clothing. When necessary, counsel should file pretrial motions seeking appropriate clothing for the client and that court personnel follow appropriate procedures so as not to reveal to jurors that the client is incarcerated. Counsel should attempt to prevent the client from being seen by the jury in any form of physical restraint.
Counsel should plan with the client the most convenient system for conferring throughout the trial. When necessary, counsel should seek a court order to have the client available for conferences.
If, during the trial, it appears to counsel that concessions to facts or offenses are strategically indicated, such concessions should be discussed with the client before they are made.
Throughout preparation and trial, counsel should consider the potential effects that particular actions may have upon sentencing if there is a finding of guilt.
Counsel should be familiar with the procedures by which both petit and grand jury venires are selected in the particular jurisdiction and should be alert to any potential legal challenges to the composition or selection of the venires.
Counsel should be familiar with local practices and the individual trial judge's procedures for selecting a jury from a panel of the venire, and should be alert to any potential legal challenges to those procedures.
Prior to jury selection, counsel should seek to obtain a prospective juror list and the standard jury questionnaire if feasible, and counsel should seek access to and retain the juror questionnaires that have been completed by potential jurors. Counsel should also consider requesting use of a separate questionnaire that is tailored to the client’s case and should determine the court’s method for tracking juror seating and selection.
Counsel should tailor voir dire questions to the specific case. If appropriate, counsel should develop and file in advance of trial written voir dire questions that counsel would like the court to ask jurors. Among the purposes voir dire questions should be designed to serve are the following:
To elicit information about the attitudes of individual jurors, which will inform counsel and client about peremptory strikes and challenges for cause;