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Bill Cosby and Jury Bias: Can Jurors Recognize Their Own Biases?

Now more than ever, information is at our fingertips.  While the benefits of this are many, one potential downside has become apparent in the legal system.  The law assures defendants the right to an “impartial” jury.  However, the sheer amount of information available through the rapidly expanding use of technology means that jurors are increasingly […]

Commitment Effects: Does Asking Verdict Questions Early Commit Mock Jurors to a Position?

When we design a mock trial – where jurors are read instructions and deliberate to a verdict form – we concentrate on presenting the case facts, witnesses, and evidence in a way that will impact jurors’ story of the case similarly to a “real life” trial.  As such, we typically wait until after jurors hear […]

How Do I Get Jurors to Reveal Their Biases?

As we’ve discussed elsewhere, it is important to use voir dire as a tool for identifying your worst jurors while hiding you best jurors, and eliciting bias and obtaining cause challenges should be the primary objective.  In a previous blog, we offered techniques for cause sequencing, which is the series of questions that will lead […]

Maximizing Cause Strikes: How Do I Get Jurors to Say They Can’t be Fair?

As we’ve mentioned in previous posts, eliciting bias and obtaining cause challenges should be the primary objectives of voir dire. Each juror you are able to remove for cause is essentially equivalent to having an additional peremptory strike that your opponent does not. Indeed, a successful voir dire should tilt the playing field in your […]

How Jurors’ Attitudes About Gender and Age Discrimination in the Workplace Affect Your Case

What matters more – jurors’ discrimination experiences or their attitudes? Or are both critical? Imagine you are in jury selection and have a juror who directly experienced workplace discrimination. You have another juror who has witnessed others’ experience with workplace discrimination. And yet another who harbors the belief that gender discrimination is ingrained in today’s […]

Is Too Much Experience a Bad Thing? How Your Expertise May Lead You to Inaccurately Predict Jurors’ Reactions to the Case

We’ve all been there.  You’re at a cocktail party and someone is telling a joke that you’ve heard a number of times before.  While that joke was laugh-out-loud hilarious the first time you heard it, it’s just not as side-splitting after about the tenth run.  On top of that, you can’t imagine why others would […]

How Do I Connect with Jurors? The Role of Juror Analysis in Persuasion

Everyone knows that it is good trial strategy to connect with jurors and avoid alienating them, right?  But sometimes, in our eagerness to advance aspects of our case, we don’t think of how some of our words and actions are perceived by jurors. In our over 20 years of talking with jurors in post-trial interviews […]

3D-Printed Trial Exhibits: Futuristic Technology, Old-School Storytelling

Let’s go back several decades.  For a moment, picture this:  It’s a hot summer day; windows are cracked in a large, packed courtroom.  We center on an attorney (maybe a Gregory Peck type), unfazed by the heat, of course, mid-case, pacing before the jury box with a confident stride.  Today, in this moment, he’s trying […]

The Reptile Brain Strategy: Why Lawyers Use it and How to Counter it

Over the past few years, we have heard much consternation from our clients regarding a plaintiff strategy called the “Reptile Approach.”  During this time, we have seen this approach become more and more popular – not to mention effective – during depositions and trial among plaintiff attorneys.  This Insights Blog provides a brief general overview […]

Is there Juror Bias Against Female Attorneys?

Gender bias is often outside of conscious awareness and is implicit, meaning that it can occur in stark contrast to one’s consciously held explicit beliefs. Banaji & Greenwald (2002) posited that such social behavior is not completely under our conscious control but, rather, is driven by learned stereotypes that operate automatically or unconsciously when we […]

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