Impaneling Definition and Legal Meaning

On this page, you'll find the legal definition and meaning of Impaneling, written in plain English, along with examples of how it is used.

What is Impaneling?

It is the process of selecting the jury. Normally 6-12 Jurors are selected who would be questioned by the Judges and lawyers from both sides and will also be heard for their excuses. The potential jurors will also have to face challenges from the Judges and lawyers and finally selected.

History and Meaning of Impaneling

Impaneling or empaneling is a term used in the legal system to describe the process of selecting jurors for a trial. The term dates back to medieval times and is derived from the Middle English word "ympanel", which means to include or insert. During this time, jurors were literally listed on a panel, which was a piece of parchment or paper.

Today, the process of impaneling has evolved, but the purpose remains the same: to ensure a fair and impartial trial by selecting a group of jurors who can objectively evaluate the evidence presented. The potential jurors are questioned by the judge and attorneys from both sides, and are subject to challenges for cause or peremptory challenges to ensure both sides have an impartial jury.

Examples of Impaneling

  1. In a high-profile murder trial, the court spent several days impaneling a jury due to the extensive media coverage and potential bias of the prospective jurors.

  2. During the impaneling process, one potential juror admitted to knowing the defendant personally and was subsequently dismissed from the pool.

  3. The judge gave strict instructions to the attorneys not to discuss the case with the jurors outside of the courtroom during the impaneling process.

Legal Terms Similar to Impaneling

  1. Jury selection - Another term used to describe the process of choosing a panel of jurors for a trial.

  2. Voir dire - A French term meaning "to speak the truth", which is a stage of the impaneling process in which attorneys question prospective jurors to determine their impartiality.

  3. Challenge for cause - An objection made by an attorney during the impaneling process to remove a juror who is believed to be biased or unable to be impartial.