Getting Up Close and Personal: Using Social Media in Jury Selection

September 13, 2011

Getting up Close and Personal: Voir dire is often too brief or too constrained by the preferences of the court or the skills of the questioner.  The advantage of revealing and exploring the values and attitudes of venire members to inform deselection choices often is challenged by the limits imposed upon voir dire.  We do [...]

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Take Your Damages Straight Down the Middle

August 30, 2011

In a recent blog by Ken Broda-Bahm, “When Arguing Damages, “Drop Anchor” Even in Murky Waters“, he discusses Shari Diamond’s recent study derived from the deliberations of Arizona jurors. “In the real world of trials, is the effect of an anchor as simple and automatic?  Based on a recent analysis of the deliberation content of video-recorded trials [...]

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Moralizing Judgment: The Impact of Disgust on Juror Decision Making

July 27, 2011

Moralizing Judgment: The Impact of Disgust on Juror Decision Making** Br’er Rabbit and Tar Baby ” Br’er Fox went ter wuk en got ‘im some tar, en mix it wid some turkentime, en fix up a contrapshun w’at he call a Tar-Baby, en he tuck dish yer Tar-Baby en he sot ‘er in de big [...]

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Damages and MedMal Defense

February 5, 2010

Jurors struggle with the hard task of damages determination. You do yourself and your defendant client a disservice by shying away from a quietly confident contradiction of the premises, promises and posturing of the plaintiff’s damages case.

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Mediation and Jury Research

August 7, 2009

There’s this legend that persists about pretrial jury research. No one knows how it started. Those who first told the tale have probably litigated their last and have gone on to emeritus status. The legend persists and it begins with, “There is a tool so fearsome and dear that only the rich and the brave ever even inquire about using it. It’s called the “Focus Group” and is so lethal that one must only use it just before trial and then only when the consequences of failure are dire.” Not so! Not so!

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What in the Wordle!

July 22, 2009

Wordle of the content & focus of JuryVox micro-blog. Tools & information to enhance trial advocacy. Prepare Persuade Prevail.

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Twisted Up Inside: Witness Prep Stress

April 29, 2009

Witness preparation is primarily an educational process. From the very first, give your witness information about the context of testimony, the overview narrative of their testimony, the “job” they have within their testimony,etc. Education and context can relieve much of their concerns, but in many cases it’s not enough. You must deal with their fears.

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Voir Dire: Did you worry about money yesterday?

April 15, 2009

The crucible of significant societal and cultural events can and does create a sea change in experiences and attitudes in the day to day lives of our jurors. We have experienced The Enron Effect, The 9/11 Effect, and The Recession Effect within the last 10 years. These ubiquitous national experiences touched the lives and opinions of many millions of potential jurors.

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Trolling the Polls: Jury Research

April 3, 2009

Preparing your case for trial involves packaging, that is, arranging your case fact pattern, exhibits, and witnesses within a framework and narrative that is readily understandable and readily merges with the values and expectations of your jurors. Any case can enormously profit from the qualitative results from pre trial jury research. The very best approach is professionally conducted focus group/mock trial research, but not every case can support the resources required for this effort. In this entry, I’ll suggest a readily available, reliable and utilitarian alternative: National and Regional Polls.

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Encouraging Juror Self Disclosure.

March 26, 2009

It’s not surprising that most trial attorney’s anticipate voir dire with some level of dread and trepidation. You don’t know them; they don’t know (and probably don’t like) you. They wish they were someplace else. You might feel that way, too. This is Act One, Scene One in the Theater of the Trial and you are supposed to engage actors who neither know the play, their roles, their lines or you. Your biggest fear is that your scripted dialogue will result in the much dreaded, “I assume from your silence that none of you…. blah blah blah.” Fade to black. How in the hell do I get them to talk to me?

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