How Jury Selection Process Works In Texas ?
Part of the process of empaneling a jury to try a case subject to the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure ("TRCP"), entails each party to the suit receiving from the court clerk a list of the names of jurors. TRCP 224.
After the lists of the names of jurors are received, the parties are entitled to challenge any juror for cause, and if a challenge for cause is sustained, the juror is removed from the lists of the parties. TRCP 229.
If a challenge for cause is overruled and the challenging party desires to preserve error for appellate review, the challenging party must advise the trial court, before exercising its peremptory challenges, that the court's denial of its challenge for cause would force the party to exhaust its peremptory challenges and that, after exercising these peremptory challenges, specific objectionable jurors would still remain on the panel. Goode v. Shoukfeh, 943 S.W.2d 441, 452 (Tex. 1997); Hallett v. Houston Northwest Med. Ctr., 689 S.W.2d 888, 890 (Tex. 1985).
The granting of additional peremptory challenges is within the discretion of the trial court. See Diamond Shamrock Corp. v. Wendt, 718 S.W.2d 766, 768 (Tex.App.--Corpus Christi 1986, writ ref'd n.r.e.); but see TEX. GOV'T CODE ANN. 62.020(a), (e) (Vernon 1998) (additional peremptory challenges to be allowed when seating alternate jurors).
To establish an abuse of discretion, the complaining party must demonstrate that the trial court acted unreasonably, arbitrarily, or without reference to guiding rules and principles. Downer v. Aquamarine Operators, Inc., 701 S.W.2d 238, 241-42 (Tex. 1985).
If error by the trial court is shown, the error is reversible if it:
(1) probably caused the rendition of an improper judgment;
(2) probably prevented the appellant from properly presenting the case to the court of appeals. TEX. R. APP. P. 44.1.
The traditional harmless error rule expressed in TRAP 44.1 has been relaxed when the trial court has committed error in awarding strikes. Lopez v. Foremost Paving, Inc., 709 S.W.2d 643, 644 (Tex. 1986).
In such a case, the complaining party need only show that the trial was materially unfair to complainant. Id.