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Should an ESL Witness Testify Through an Interpreter?

When presented with a witness who speaks English as a Second Language (ESL), it is difficult to predict how they will be perceived by a jury.  In a previous post, we examined the challenges of identifying juror bias against foreign witnesses, but that raises a separate, yet related issue as to whether that witness is […]

What’s on Employees’ Minds? Employee Rights, Pay, & Government Regulation

Most jurors are employed, either as contractors, employees, or self-employed.  What are their workplace concerns these days?  Do they feel protected?  Do they believe their pay is fair? Understanding how jurors’ employment needs and concerns have changed (or not changed) is critical in assessing the risks in your employment litigation.  Will jurors identify with the […]

What Analogies Can I Use to Explain My Case to a Jury?

When working on trial strategy with a client, it is almost inevitable that he or she will ask, “What analogy can I use to help the jury understand X?”  Then, the trial attorneys, in-house counsel, and anyone else in the room will begin tossing around various analogies – most of which sound like great ideas […]

Should My Client Say “I’m Sorry”?

As a corporate defendant, does it help or hurt to apologize for past conduct?  Does it show weakness?  Fault?  Honesty?  Sincerity? Well, it all depends on the case.  Just take a look at mock jurors’ very different reactions to two different defendants saying, “We’re sorry.” Juror A:  “They have done nothing to address the problems […]

Which Is Best When Conducting a Mock Trial: One Jury Panel vs. Multiple Jury Panels

We are often asked, “Three jury panels?  Won’t just one jury panel work when using a mock trial to test the themes and arguments in my case?  That’s what we are faced with in the real world.”  This is a very important question, and the answer is grounded in well-established social science research methodology.  Following […]

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 […]

Can I Conduct My Own Jury Research to Save Costs?

With companies seeking to cut litigation costs, some attorneys have begun trying to conduct their own jury research without the aid of a litigation consulting firm.  Though you may think this will save a lot, while still providing valuable feedback about your case, attorneys who conduct their own research risk making key strategic decisions on […]

Are Jurors Biased Against Foreign-Made Products?

Since the start of the recent economic recession, American consumers have been torn between favoring American-made products, with the idea of securing jobs in the U.S. for American workers, and the affordability of the products they need for their households.   For a product to wave the “Made in the USA” label, it can only have […]

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 […]

Focus Group vs Mock Trial: Which is the Best Choice for You?

When contemplating doing jury research, almost every client asks us, “Should I conduct a mock trial or focus group?” The answer is almost always, “It depends; what do you want to learn from the research and where are you in the litigation cycle?” Jury research that provides valid results you can rely on should always […]

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