voir dire

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French for to speak the truth, voir dire is the process through which potential jurors are questioned by either the judge or a lawyer to determine their suitability for jury service. It is used to excuse prospective jurors deemed incapable of fulfilling juror obligations, such as impartiality. 

Voir dire also involves the preliminary questioning of witnesses (especially experts) to determine their competence to testify. 

In the case of Stewart v. State, the Maryland Court of Appeals reviewed voir dire principles. 

[Last updated in July of 2024 by the Wex Definitions Team]