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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 […]

What to Ask in Voir Dire

At a recent Continuing Legal Education seminar I was presenting to a group of attorneys, I was discussing potential questions the attorneys might consider asking prospective jurors during voir dire.  The specific question was, “Who believes there should be more regulation of workers’ rights or that there is no change needed?”  Just as I was […]

What Are the Standards and Procedures for Jury Selection in My Jurisdiction?

As a national trial consulting firm, we are often asked to assist with jury selection in jurisdictions where lead counsel has been admitted pro hac vice and may not be closely familiar with the standards and procedures for jury selection in the trial jurisdiction.  Although local counsel can be a great resource for obtaining more […]

How Should I Introduce My Jury Consultant at Trial?

Many of our clients are concerned about how jurors would perceive them if the jurors learned the client hired a jury consultant to be present during jury selection.  After all, most depictions of jury consultants in books, television and film, portray a secretive, intrusive and often unethical character working to absolve a guilty defendant.  While […]

What Is the Best Way to Defend a Batson Challenge?

In a previous blog, we discussed key points for making a Batson challenge, but what do you do when circumstances are reversed?  In most cases, these challenges are made in an effort to disrupt a successful voir dire or to rattle an opponent before opening statements.  Stay calm; with a little organization and good note […]

What is the Best Way to Raise a Batson Challenge?

Few things fluster lawyers during voir dire like a Batson challenge.  If the prospect of justifying your strikes on the record makes you uneasy, you aren’t alone.  We’ve seen competent lawyers in the midst of a successful voir dire easily thrown off track when the opposing party challenges their method for exercising peremptories.  Next month’s […]

How do I Avoid Poisoning the Jury Pool?

Vulnerabilities. Landmines. Weasels. Bad facts. Stuff that can make the case go very, very bad. Every case has them – facets of the case that don’t look good for your client. If everything in the evidence were lined up in your client’s favor, would you be going to trial? Because every case has issues that […]

Who is the Ideal Juror to Look for During Voir Dire?

Clients frequently ask our consultants, “What type of people do I want on my jury?”  This is often followed by a series of questions such as, “Are men or women better for us?”  or “Do we want older or younger jurors?”  “Who is the ideal juror for my case?” Identify Your Riskiest Jurors:  Think of […]

Making the Most of Voir Dire When You’ve Got 15 Minutes

A 6-step process for when it comes to getting the most out of what little you’re given in voir dire.   “Fifteen minutes a side. Make it count.” And with that, the judge left the bench. Everyone froze. The lead lawyer looked at me; I looked at the lead lawyer. The opposing attorneys looked at […]

Making the Case for the Benefits of Attorney-Conducted Voir Dire to Promote Juror Candor in Open Court

There is nothing that trial lawyers and jury consultants fear more than a “sleeper juror.” We’ve all been there – in the courtroom just before strikes are made – wondering if the juror who sat silently is concealing some deep-seeded prejudice against our clients, or worse, questioning whether the jurors who did speak did so […]

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