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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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?

Many thanks to Alex for his kind quotes.

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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Even More Words Lawyers Should Banish

Textemada (d.b.a. the Torquemada of Text) is back with more words and phrases that lawyers simply must banish from their vocabularies. I would say “at least in front of jurors,” but I think the reality is that our minds get trained by whatever we do, wherever we do it. The person who says “disingenuous” around the office – and, boy, is there a more weasely word than ‘disingenuous’? – will likely say it in court, too. 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.) Continue reading

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Alex Craigie: Five Ways To Use A Jury Consultant Effectively

Alex Craigie, Esq., a litigator based in Los Angeles, gentleman and scholar, writes a blog called ‘At Counsel Table,’ which I recommend. Today, he has published on “Five Ways To Effectively Use A Jury Consultant,” in which he has generously used some of my thoughts. Please read it.

Alex and I both hope to help you bring about resolutions that are (a) more favorable to your client, and (b) sooner than later. And if your case must go to trial, well then let’s get the best damn results.

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