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2023 California Rules of Court

Rule 4.200. Pre-voir dire conference in criminal cases

(a) The conference

Before jury selection begins in criminal cases, the court must conduct a conference with counsel to determine:

(1)  A brief outline of the nature of the case, including a summary of the criminal charges;

(2)  The names of persons counsel intend to call as witnesses at trial;

(3)  The People's theory of culpability and the defendant's theories;

(4)  The procedures for deciding requests for excuse for hardship and challenges for cause;

(5)  The areas of inquiry and specific questions to be asked by the court and by counsel and any time limits on counsel's examination;

(6)  The schedule for the trial and the predicted length of the trial;

(7)  The number of alternate jurors to be selected and the procedure for selecting them; and

(8)  The procedure for making objections pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure 231.7(b).

The judge must, if requested, excuse the defendant from then disclosing any defense theory.

(Subd (a) amended effective March 14, 2022; previously amended effective January 1, 2006, and January 1, 2007.)

(b) Written questions

The court may require counsel to submit in writing, and before the conference, all questions that counsel requests the court to ask of prospective jurors. This rule applies to questions to be asked either orally or by written questionnaire. The Juror Questionnaire for Criminal Cases (form MC-002) may be used.

(Subd (b) amended effective January 1, 2006.)

Rule 4.200 amended effective March 14, 2022; adopted as rule 228.1 effective June 6, 1990; previously amended and renumbered effective January 1, 2001; previously amended effective January 1, 2006, and January 1, 2007.

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