Jury selection: When the lawyers do jury selection, they have the opportunity to ask questions of jurors. Then they get to agree with the juror being seated or challenge the juror. What will (probably – I won’t say never) not happen is that the lawyers object to jurors in front o of the jury pool. This happens after the questions (voir dire) are asked and the jury is sent outside. Prospective jurors are sent to the hallway or a room away from the lawyers and judge.
Then the judge will go through the list, something like this:
Judge: Juror number 1.
Plaintiff’s lawyer: Accept.
Defense lawyer: Strike. (That’s a peremptory challenge and the lawyers will each get 2 – 3, sometimes more – they have to use them carefully).
Judge: Juror number 2.
Plaintiff’s lawyer: Challenge for cause
[Argument ensues as to whether there is cause to strike the juror for bias. The juror could be called in to be asked more questions. Then the judge will rule. If the juror is stricken for cause, the lawyer doesn’t have to use up one of those precious peremptory challenges].
Once the lawyers go through the whole list and have 6 or 12 jurors and the alternates picked, the judge will ask if the lawyers want to make any back-strikes. That means they can use up the rest of their peremptory challenges. If any more jurors are stricken, the judge then asks the lawyers about the next juror in the pool.
When the jury is picked, the judge calls the pool back inside, calls up the jurors who were picked, and thanks the rest for their service. In some jurisdictions, the remaining jurors are excused for the day. In some, they’ll be sent back to the jury pool room to see if they get picked for another jury.
In The Good Wife, it would have been easy to fix the problem. Show the juror answering, then cut to the scene where the lawyers are objecting. Simple.
Communications in front of jurors: The writers also showed a scene where a lawyer, accidentally on purpose, was on his cell phone in the rest room talking about the case when a juror was in there with him. Turns out, two jurors were in there, but that’s another story. I’ve never seen this happen and, at least where I practice, it couldn’t happen. Jurors are usually escorted to/from the restrooms by a bailiff, who stands outside and shoos everyone away while they’re in there to avoid just this sort of thing. If the lawyer does see a juror in the restroom, they are supposed to stay far away. Any contact with a juror, even a “hello” in the elevator, has to be reported to the judge.
I don’t know how the writers would fix that problem other than to delay the trial another way. That storyline was improbable, to say the least.
If you’re writing about a jury trial, my best recommendation is go down to your local courthouse and watch one. It’s good experience and will give you the realism you need for your story. Don’t use television to get legal information for your stories. It’s usually wrong.