It’s called “voir dire” and, as state District Judge Brenda Kennedy noted Tuesday in court, it’s pronounced “vor dire” in Texas but vor deer in Boston (as well as a good portion of the North American land mass).
It is French (“vwa deer,” I believe, is the correct pronunciation) and generally translated as “to speak the truth.” It’s the trial phase during which potential jurors speak the truth as lawyers pick who’ll hear the case. More precisely, it’s the phase during which lawyers pick who won’t hear the case. Either way, it’s crucial.
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