75 Seconds of Jury Selection Thoughts

LadyJusticeImageClick here for video.

This was recorded by the Animal Law Defense Fund after I gave a presentation on jury issues in animal abuse prosecutions. (Biggest challenge: lots of jurors don’t consider it “real” crime when compared to murder and residential burglary, etc. So voir dire is, yet again, really important.)

Obviously, there is a lot more to say about jury or mediation persuasion in your particular case, civil or criminal. So click on Contact and get in touch with me.

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Expert Testimony: Some Science & Some Art to Increase Your Value

All expert witnesses are gonna get one of these labels. Don't you want the first one?

All expert witnesses are gonna get one of these labels. Don’t you want the first one?

You’re an expert witness who wants to add the greatest possible value to your side. (Or you might be the attorney who wants to get the most juror persuasion out of your expert.) You’re in the right place.

Jurors taste expert witnesses in three flavors:

  • the Benevolent Educator,
  • the Hired Gun, or
  • the Superfluous Pontificator.

Continue reading

Posted in Depositions, Expert witness, Jury Persuasion, Jury Research, Trial, Writings | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Questions from Jurors are GOOD, Period.

Pulp Cover_Juror QuestionsThere’s a story in the July 21 online edition of the Boston Globe about a trial in which jurors have asked 281 questions, and in my opinion, the piece skews rather negatively about the whole practice of allowing jurors to ask written questions during trials. That’s wrong: Juror questions are a good thing for you, Counsel, and you should be enabling them in every one of your trials. Continue reading

Posted in Jury Psychology & Dynamics, Jury Research, Trial, Writings | Tagged , , | 2 Comments

Summer Book Recommendation for Civil and Criminal Litigators: “Acquittal” by Richard Gabriel

‘Acquittal: An Insider Reveals the Stories And Strategies Behind Today’s Most Infamous Verdicts’ by trial consultant Richard Gabriel is a great summer read which I recommend to all attorneys who try cases – even civil litigators. Continue reading

Posted in Jury Persuasion, Jury Psychology & Dynamics, Jury Selection, Trial, Writings | Tagged , , , , , , | 7 Comments

The Difference Between an Expert and an Expert Witness

We think how we speak after awhile. An expression can become detached from its origins and then lead to blinders.  In litigation world, saying “expert” and not “expert witness” is one of the particularly bad ones, made worse by its near universality. Here’s why we should knock that off. Continue reading

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When to Stop Voir Dire

Some weeks ago, I was talking with a lawyer who probably does a dozen trials per year and has been doing it for 15 years with results that are well above average. She was lamenting her discomfort with the jury selection process, especially the oral questioning of prospective jurors. Among other things, she said, “And how do you even know when to stop?” Continue reading

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Will You Give These Jurors What They Want?

Rich Matthews / Juryology:

Many thanks to Alex for his kind quotes.

Originally posted on At Counsel Table:

jury1A couple of weeks ago, I sent fellow blogger and trial consultant Rich Matthews an email asking if he would comment on a post I was thinking about writing. It would be called “Avoid These Five Ways Of Alienating The Jury.” I was expecting him to provide a laundry list of “don’t dos” if you want to stay on a jury’s good side, such as wearing a bow tie,† showing up late, interrupting witnesses, etc.

Instead, Rich offered a much shorter list of ways–just two–to give the jury what they want and expect. On reflection, Rich’s list of “dos” made much more sense than my proposed list of “don’ts”. Here’s what Rich said:

“I think jurors want two and only two things from counsel, and get alienated easily when these are violated: help with understanding the material, and not wasting their time. That’s it. As obvious as that might sound…

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