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A Millennial Could Be Your Next Jury Foreperson

Millennials – the generation born between roughly 1980 and 2000 – are showing up in large numbers to perform their civic duty.  In fact, this year alone we’ve had several trials in which the post-hardship jury pool was nearly 50% or more Millennial after hardships.  More importantly, in two very recent trials, a Millennial served […]

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 Do I Keep Jurors Awake?

It has happened to every attorney that has ever stood up in front of jurors: maybe it’s just after lunch or maybe midafternoon.  Perhaps it’s during a particularly science-heavy, technical part of your presentation.  Just as you get to your main point, you scan the faces of the panel and notice one juror slumped over, […]

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 […]

Is It Ethical to Research Jurors Online during Jury Selection?

With limited time and opportunity to question jurors during voir dire, attorneys are increasingly turning to jury consulting firms to conduct online research in hopes of learning more about the people who may be deciding their cases.  Internet research of a jury panel can produce a wealth of information – information that jurors may not be forthcoming or candid about during voir dire, information that the judge may deem […]

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 […]

Comparing Judges Versus Jurors: Do They Decide Cases Differently?

The vast majority of civil disputes are resolved before (or during) trial. These outcomes are always influenced by the trial judge’s structuring of the dispute – e.g., Daubert hearings, responses to SJM motions, Markman hearings, etc. Dispute structuring requires trial judges to exercise a great deal of fact-finding discretion regarding the credibility of witnesses, reliability […]

How Long Should Opening Statements in a Trial Last?

In a recent article, we explored how long closing arguments should be (hint: the shorter the better).  Yet almost just as often as we are asked how long a closing should be, we are asked how long an opening statement should last.  This answer is a little different.  First, though, let’s take a look at […]

Do Jurors Really Follow the Jury Instructions?

“Jurors must decide cases based on the laws as they are and not as the jurors might like them to be.” This quote from the Montgomery County’s Court of Common Pleas’ website nicely summarizes how juries are supposed to decide cases. Jurors must put aside their feelings and follow the law as explained by the […]

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