Category Archives: Jury Selection

Podcast: ‘Bull’ persists; so do we. Episode 2

Click here for podcast. CBS persists in airing ‘Bull,’ giving us episode 2 on 9/27/16, “The Woman in 8D.”  Alleged trial consultant Dr. Bull’s crime spree continues unabated, along with the ridiculous nonsense that mostly comprises this show. As ever, fiction … Continue reading

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Podcast: Stepping in ‘Bull’: Another trial consultant & I discuss this ridiculous and harmful show.

Click here for podcast, Stepping in ‘Bull’ CBS launched a new show from the apparently forgetful mind of Dr. Phil, that pretends to be about trial consultants. Fiction is great; outright falsehood is not. And in a year in which … Continue reading

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

Five mistakes widely made by trial counsel in jury selection . . . probably including you. 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.

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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 … Continue reading

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Significant Appellate Decisions About Jurors & Jury Selection, 2012-13

Here are 19 appellate decisions from 2012-13 regarding jurors and jury selection that you should know about. (Via Prezi; great thanks to creator T. Smith.)

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The Mini-Opening Before Oral Questioning: Upgrade Your Voir Dire

Many states permit the lawyers to make a brief opening statement before the oral questioning of prospective jurors (e.g., California Code of Civil Procedure, sec. 222.5). If your state permits this, you should absolutely do it.

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Beware the Stranger With An Agenda (B.T.W. … It’s You)

I have served and observed thousands of lawyers over 23 years, and gotten to know their thinking, strategy, intentions, and performance both preparing for and conducting jury trials. And I have become convinced that there is one barrier at the … Continue reading

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More Lawyer Vocabulary Banishments, by the Torquemada of Text

(This continues the discussion from Wednesday, June 26th.)

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Lawyer Vocabulary Banishments, by the Torquemada of Text

Fish do not think they are wet. If they thought about it at all, they might think you are dry. But just going along their fishy paths, leading their fishy lives, they give no thought to their own wetness. They … Continue reading

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Supplemental Juror Questionnaires, Part 3: Oh, The Data You’ll Know

The Questions Themselves: Part Social Science, Part Strategy Often, questionnaires written by lawyers are… well… Look, a lawyer attempting social science based only on intuitive commonsense is like watching social scientists try to practice law with only intuitive commonsense. Which … Continue reading

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Supplemental Juror Questionnaires, Part 2: This Time, It’s Quizzical

I invite you to read the previous post, “Supplemental Juror Questionnaires, Part 1” before reading this. Or not. Your call.  – Rich The SJQ Introduction: Include a Welcome, Some Thanks, And Always Use Normal Human English So by way of … Continue reading

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Supplemental Juror Questionnaires, Part 1

“Everything we see is a shadow cast by that which we do not see.” – Martin Luther King, Jr. The Importance of Juror Questionnaires Earlier this week, I came into possession of a supplemental juror questionnaire that is a thing … Continue reading

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Voir Dire: Doing Less Gets You More

There’s a cutesy old saying that “god gave you two ears and one mouth, and they should be used in that proportion.” Well, the thing about being the creator of the universe is that you don’t have to pick juries … Continue reading

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Voir Dire: Where the Mind Meets the Mouth

Job Number One of any lawyer conducting voir dire is lowering the barriers to communication. What are the barriers that jurors might have to opening up to you? Being in an unfamiliar building and room, but more powerfully, being in … Continue reading

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More On Jury Selection (Don’t Read That Aloud Too Quickly—Sounds Insulting)

I found a couple more notes from the jury pick I mentioned in the May 5 post. The big themes: in jury selection, keep your language simple and clear, and keep your questions open. When Lawyers Talk Like Lawyers, It … Continue reading

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Voir Dire: 5 Quick Things To Be Less Awful in Jury Selection

I slightly apologize for starting the relaunch of this blog on a slightly bitter note, but I have just come from a jury selection in a civil case and have bandaged my forehead from banging it on the table.  Usually, … Continue reading

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