Panel Definition and Legal Meaning

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

What is Panel?

Group of people selected to form a jury for the trial of a particular case.

History and Definition of Panel

A panel is a group of people who are selected and appointed to act as jurors in a specific case. The process of selecting a jury panel is called voir dire. In a panel, each juror is presented with evidence in a court proceeding and given the opportunity to discuss their opinions and interpretations with the other jurors. Panels are used to ensure that the outcome of the case is based on the collective judgment and decision of a group of individuals.

The practice of using a panel of jurors for a court trial dates back to medieval England. The origins of the term "panel" can be traced back to the practice of attaching panels of wood to the courthouse doors, marking the beginning of a trial. When the court was ready to begin the trial, the judge would summon the jurors whose names were written on the panel, and they would be selected to form the jury for the given trial.

Examples of Panel

  1. The prosecutor objected to the panel when it was formed and requested a new one be selected.
  2. The jury panel was questioned by the judge during voir dire to establish their suitability for the trial.
  3. The defense attorney filed a motion challenging the jury panel based on potential conflicts of interest.
  4. The judge dismissed the case when it was discovered that the panel had not been selected in accordance with the law.
  5. The panel deliberated for several hours before reaching a verdict in the case.

Legal Terms Similar to Panel

  • Jury: A group of individuals who are selected to hear evidence and determine the outcome of a trial.
  • Voir dire: The process of selecting a jury panel, whereby prospective jurors are asked questions to determine their suitability for the case.
  • Deliberation: The process of jurors discussing and considering the evidence presented in a case before reaching a verdict.