Tag Archives: jury

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

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 … Continue reading

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

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 … Continue reading

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Questions from Jurors are GOOD, Period.

There’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 … 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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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. … 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 … Continue reading

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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 … Continue reading

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One juror’s experience. Excellent read.

Every so often, I see something that a juror has written about his or her experience as a juror, and they are always valuable. Some moreso than others. A man named Gerry Walker in New York City wrote a terrific … Continue reading

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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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Francis Scott Key Was a Lawyer. Don’t Be Like Him.

Get a piece of paper and a pen, and try the following puzzle. Seriously, try it—it will make this much more fun and you might learn something kind of profound. Ready? Here is the challenge:

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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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On Video Depositions… Because Sometimes Jurors See Clips

Why would a jury guy be talking about video depositions? Because clips from video depositions are often shown to jurors in trial.

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The Ten Commandments of Objections

1. Thou shalt know with thy whole heart that jurors don’t like objections. They want the truth and believe the objector is trying to hide the truth from them. So know that there is a cost for every objection. It … 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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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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