Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Impanel Definition:

Also, "empanel"; the official call to duty of a jury, usually as called by the clerk of the Court in which the jury is to act, and just before the jurors are sworn in.

Related Terms: Empanel, Jury

Also spelled empanel in some jurisdictions.

To impanel sometimes means to enrol upon a panel or list for jury duty, and sometimes to draw from that panel and select a jury for a particular case.1

To formally and officially convene a jury to act in a court of law.

In Diaz v State of Texas, Justice Utter of the Court of Appeals of Texas adopted these words:

"Impanel means the act of the clerk of the court in making up a list of the jurors who have been selected for the trial of a particular cause. All the steps of ascertaining who shall be the proper jurors to sit in the trial of a particular case up to the final formation."

In Papes v King, Justice Corrigan of the Court of Appeals of Ohio accepted this statement of the law:

"The word impanel covers all the steps in ascertaining who shall be the twelve men to sit as jurors in a case and means the final formation of the jury by the court preceding the oath."

In many cases, the judge will impanel one or more extra or alternate jurors in case a juror takes ill or have to be excused because of some personal emergency during the course of the trial.


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