The jurors have begun assembling in the Manhattan court that will hear the case into Martha Stewart and her former stockbroker Peter E Bacanovic. Stewart, the former chairwoman and chief executive of Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia, is charged with five federal crimes, including conspiracy, obstruction of justice and securities fraud. All stem from her December 2001 sale of nearly 4,000 shares of ImClone Systems, the biotechnology company founded and formerly run by her friend, Samuel D. Waksal.

The potential jurors, who arrived in groups throughout the day, were asked to fill out a questionnaire prepared by prosecutors and defense lawyers. The questionnaire was not made public yesterday, though Judge Miriam G. Cedarbaum, who is presiding over the case, is expected to release it once that phase of jury selection ends, sometime this week.

Those not eliminated through their answers on the questionnaire will be interviewed by lawyers for each side in courtroom sessions that are expected to begin Jan. 20.

Some jurors carried briefcases and other professional-looking accessories, while others had knapsacks and McDonald’s bags in tow. Some were in leather coats, others in down jackets, and one man arrived wearing a New York Rangers sweatshirt and trousers cut off at the knee.

It appeared to be the first time many of them had set foot in the courthouse at 500 Pearl Street, holding a paper jury summons in hand. They represented a wide range of demographic backgrounds as well. Many seemed unfamiliar with the location of the jury room (a United States marshal was stationed at the door, his arm raised in friendly greeting) and with the courthouse’s requirement that cellphones be checked at the door.

Dr. Waksal pleaded guilty to an assortment of crimes, including securities fraud and perjury related to his own efforts to sell ImClone stock, and is serving a seven-year sentence in a Pennsylvania prison.

Mr. Bacanovic, who was dismissed from Merrill Lynch in late 2002, is charged with conspiracy, falsifying documents, making false statements and perjury. Opening arguments are expected to begin at the end of the month, and the trial is expected to last about six weeks.

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