WILMINGTON, Del. — Jury selection in the Dominion Voting Systems defamation case is scheduled to begin Thursday morning as the Delaware court works to identify 12 jurors and six surrogates to hear arguments against Fox. News and Fox Corp.
Judge Eric Davis will interview potential jurors about their ability to render an unbiased opinion on Thursday and Friday as he and the attorneys whittle down the number of jurors.
Potential jurors are expected to be asked questions such as whether they watch Fox News or have ever volunteered as a poll worker.
Dominion, which makes voting machines, alleges that Fox News damaged its reputation by promoting false claims that it was linked to the late Venezuelan President Hugo Chávez, paid bribes to politicians and “rigged” the 2020 presidential election by shifting millions of votes for Donald. Trump. to Joe Biden.
In a victory for Dominion at a pretrial hearing, the judge ruled that jurors will be told all of those claims are false.
Each side’s legal team is allowed six challenges, allowing them to eliminate jurors. But outside legal experts point out that neither party will get a wish list in this process.
«Delaware isn’t as tough on conflict as some other states might be,» said David Finger, a media attorney practicing in Delaware. «It’s a small state, people are generally only a degree or two apart from everyone else. The fact that you might know a lawyer on the case may or may not be enough to get you turned away.»
The trial is expected to last six weeks, during which jurors will be asked to consider whether Fox News acted with knowing falsehood or with a reckless disregard for the truth when it broadcast and published conspiracy theories about the 2020 and whether damages should be paid. They will also be asked to weigh whether Fox Corp. was involved enough to be responsible for the alleged defamation.
Jurors will be anonymous to the public and media, identified only by numbers, but will be free to speak to the media after the verdict is rendered if they choose.
The selection process is critical, because jurors will be required to reach a unanimous decision to find the Fox defendants guilty of defamation.
Anthony Michael Glassman, a longtime media lawyer who has represented both the media and their subjects in media cases, said the lawyers hope the judge will allow them to obtain information about the views of the jurors. about the underlying partisan issues.
«I’ve tried enough jury cases to know, unless you’re in the courtroom trying the case or at least there looking at the jury, you can always be surprised,» he told NBC News.