5 Mistakes Just About All Trial Attorneys Make in Jury Selection (yep, maybe you, too)

Here is a partial list of mistakes that nearly all trial attorneys make:

1. Not Knowing the Actual LAW of Jury Selection.

I get blank stares from attorneys when I talk about the actual statutes that govern jury selection — which could well give us good things our party is entitled to under the law. In California, that’s the Code of Civil Procedure sections 222.5 (for civil & bits for criminal trials) and 223 (for criminal trials). Your jurisdiction may vary, but it has similar statutes, too.

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Rich on ‘Celebrity Court Radio’ re ex-Gov Rowland conviction

Elizabeth Kelly, Esq.

Elizabeth Kelley, Esq. Host of ‘Celebrity Court Radio’

I was on Elizabeth Kelley’s ‘Celebrity Court Radio’ show yesterday, available by clicking here. (I’m approximately 10 minutes into the show.) The subject was the conviction of John Rowland in a Connecticut federal court for violations of campaign disclosure/finance laws and obstruction of justice. He faces 57 years in prison. This is ten years after the felony conviction that drove him out of office as Governor of the Nutmeg State. This time, the jury convicted him after seven hours of deliberation over two days. Clearly, they saw the case pretty much the same way, which does not always happen with any group of 12 people.

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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.

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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

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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

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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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