Prosecutors and defense lawyers in the criminal trial of Martha Stewart will have six days to review jury questionnaires and move to dismiss panelists with conflicts in the case, according to a schedule set by the presiding judge.
Judge Miriam Goldman Cedarbaum, in a schedule set earlier this month, said questionnaires would be distributed to potential jurors on January 6. The following day lawyers will have the opportunity to see the completed questionnaires and must inform the court of those they want removed for cause by January 12.
Legal experts have said it may be difficult to put together a jury in the trial, one of the most high-profile in a recent string of corporate crime cases.
Stewart, a lifestyle trend-setter who went on to found her own media company, faces criminal charges stemming from her Dec. 27, 2001 sale of 3,928 shares of biotechnology company ImClone Systems Inc., run by friend Samuel Waksal.
The sale came one day before ImClone said health regulators had rejected a key drug application, sending its shares plunging.
While not charged with insider trading by the federal prosecutors, Stewart will have to stand trial on accusations that she made false statements about the sale. She has said she is not guilty of the charges.
Stewart will first appear in court, as previously scheduled, on January 20 when potential jurors will be called into the courtroom to answer questions from attorneys.