5 Voir Dire Questions to Avoid

April 23rd, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D. Managing Director, Jury & Trial Consulting A2L Consulting 1. Can you be fair and impartial? 2. Can you put your feelings aside? 3. Can you ignore your own opinion and follow the law if they conflict? 4. Despite your personal experience, can you only rely on the evidence to decide? 5. Do you have any concerns about understanding the information presented? Most, if not all, of these questions show up in voir dire throughout the land, but yield largely... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog

Voir Dire Strategy Tips: What Not To Do in Voir Dire

April 23rd, 2014 by Litigation Insights
Most articles about voir dire discuss what you should do during this process – e.g., build rapport, identify bias, prime your themes – but you don’t often read about what not to do. As you read this, you will wonder, “What skilled lawyer would make such a mistake?” But that is exactly what it is [...]The post Voir Dire Strategy Tips: What Not To Do in Voir Dire appeared first on Litigation Insights.

How can I convince them this wasn’t racist? Just keep talking…

April 23rd, 2014 by The Jury Room
We just can’t keep up with all the research on racism. So today, instead of a single article, we’re going to cite 3 of them! They are all disturbing examples that racism is alive, well, and measurable.  Was s/he a good professor? We’ve all sat through disorganized and incoherent lectures at some point in our lives but students now often look at websites akin to RateMyProfessors.com to raise their chances of identifying good instructors. According to new research, however, when you look at a site like that, “the very best instructors were more likely to be White, whereas the very worst...

A Clash of Two Communication Worlds: Lawyers vs. Jurors

April 22nd, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D. "ESTJ" Managing Director, Trial & Jury Consulting A2L Consulting Traits descriptive of many lawyers are at cross purposes with traits of the general public serving on juries, worsened by decreased trust in lawyers and their clients. Introversion and Intuition vs. Extroversion and Sensing Extensive research has shown that the majority of lawyers prefer Introversion and Intuition vs. the majority of non-lawyer adults, who prefer Extroversion and... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog

Treat Body Language as Unproven, Yet Trusted

April 22nd, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: On a recent trip returning to the U.S., I was eyed closely as I answered a series of apparently mundane questions from the uniformed American agent. Where was I born? Where do I live in the U.S.? How long had I been gone? What cities had I visited? And so on. My interviewer may have been a “Behavior Detection Officer,” a role described in a recent article in The New York Times focusing on the program in which the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) invested over $1 billion in order to train screeners to read body language in order to identify potentia...

Persuasive Litigator Gets to 400: The Top Ten of the Fourth Hundred

April 22nd, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  When you write, it's always interesting to see what people like and what they read. For book authors, there are reviewers and, of course, sales. For bloggers, there is Google Analytics. The tool, actually available for any website, allows you to take a detailed -- for me, too detailed -- look at who is reading what posts, for how long, and arriving from what source. That dashboard tells me that our top post of all time (oddly, this one) has been read more then 33,000 times, with readers spending an average of seven and a half minutes with the post each time. Yo...

What do wrongful termination and sexual abuse by a priest have in common?

April 21st, 2014 by The Jury Room
We can’t think of a single thing. Except last week we were listening to mock jurors hearing a wrongful termination case and their comments sounded very familiar. It was odd. It wasn’t another employment case that was ringing the memory bell for us. It wasn’t even a contract case. Instead it was pretrial research on allegations of sexual abuse by a priest (who had been convicted and sentenced for the sexual abuse of children). The mock juror comments from these two cases were almost interchangeable. And it was all about fraudulent claims.  Jurors in the earlier sex abuse research project...

The Spotlight Is Not As Bright As You Think

April 18th, 2014 by Tsongas Litigation Consulting, Inc.
One of my favorite topics from the world of social psychology is the “spotlight effect.”1  This describes our tendency to overestimate the degree to which other people notice us. Because we are egocentric, we are very aware of our own behavior and appearance and tend to assume that others are as well. Put another way, we know so much about ourselves that it’s hard for us to take the perspective of someone who doesn’t know as much. This concept has led to some creative studies that only a social psychologist would devise. My favorite was when researchers invited a group of participants...

“As A Good Trial Attorney, You Always Must Have a Backup Plan”

April 18th, 2014 by Cogent Legal Blog
I stood at the podium in front of my computer and looked out at the 400 or so people assembled to honor the 15th annual SFTLA Trial Lawyer of the Year nominees. Seconds earlier, the video presentation of the award nominees that Cogent Legal had produced—a 20-minute video I had spent many hours working on—stopped working and cut to a blue screen midway through its airing, with all the guests in attendance watching.Though inwardly my pulse was racing, I calmly and with a smile on my face told the assembled audience: “As a good trial attorney, you always must have a backup plan.” ...

The Top 14 Litigation Consulting Articles You Loved from Q1-2014

April 18th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting Since we publish articles a few times per week, it's easy to miss some of the great content posted at A2L's Litigation Consulting Report blog. Also, with so much valuable content, we know it's hard to read it all. That's why we publish four quarterly best-of articles, an annual best-of article and a best-of article every time we publish an additional 100 articles. The list included here covers our very top articles of the first quarter of... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog

Hey, trial lawyers! The FDA is watching you!

April 18th, 2014 by The Jury Room
And they want you to stop abusing their Adverse Event Reporting System (FAERS). We’ve worked a number of cases recently where FDA warnings were used as evidence at trial and were very interested to see this article in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. And the answer to the skeptic’s question is “no”. No, we don’t accept that a medical journal, clearly an outlet for industry points of view, is blind to their own interests. The author uses the example of the drug, Isotretinoin (also known as Accutane). The FDA and Hoffman La Roche issued warnings of a “possible causal ass...

R.I.P. — LinkedIn Polls

The recent discovery that LinkedIn had removed poll data collected on its group pages came as a surprise (see http://trial-technology.blogspot.com/2014/02/is-linkedin-data-at-risk.html). A bit of digging found the following explanation -- At LinkedIn, we strive to provide a simple and efficient experience for members like you. So we continually evaluate how our current products and features are being used. This sometimes means we remove a feature so we can focus our resources on building the best products.The LinkedIn Polls app was retired on June 30, 2013. We're continuing to support polls in...

7 Tips to Take “Dire” out of Voir Dire

April 15th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D. Managing Director, Jury & Trial Consulting A2L Consulting Jury selection certainly can have dire consequences. A case can be won or lost in voir dire. All you need is one or two strident enemy jurors to pull you down. The truth, typically, is that extremists are removed through cause or peremptory challenges. Who remains tends to be mildly favorable or unfavorable, saddled next to ones who hardly care. The key in voir dire is to identify extremists and... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog

What Can Lawyers Learn From The Presentation Style of Top Educators?

April 14th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting I sit on the board of a university, and I am passionate about delivering high-quality advice and guidance to the institution. To improve the quality of my work and our board's work, board members are afforded the opportunity to attend a conference focused on how higher education can best be managed and delivered. At this three-day conference, a mix of keynote speeches and a series of small-group sessions creates an environment for learning about... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog

Experts: Keep It Comparative

April 14th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  The expert has prepared thoroughly for her testimony before the judge. She knows each opinion and every foundation. The outline that counsel developed is all but memorized. But then, as she is about an hour into describing the detailed methods and conclusions, the judge’s eyes are drifting down to the table and the nods of understanding have stopped: He isn’t getting it. In itself, there is nothing in the testimony that is impossible to understand – on the contrary, it is organized and clear. But the judge seems to have disengaged. Instead of tracking with t...

A new neurolaw caveat to minimize punishment

April 14th, 2014 by The Jury Room
Just say his brain made him do it! That is the conclusion of new research on the relationship between gruesomeness of the crime and the harshness of the sentence. In case you can’t intuit this one, the more gruesome (and disturbing) the crime, the harsher the sentence tends to be. But if the assault was merely moderately gruesome — even though it could have been deadly– there are ways to minimize punishment decisions.  Researchers at Duke University found that “if the focus is drawn away from the mind of a perpetrator by providing biological explanations of personality instead...

Five Things to Consider When Using a Mobile Device to Present Your Case

April 14th, 2014 by Litigation Insights
Imagine a world where you no longer have to lug around your clunky, 7 lbs. laptop computer from the office to court to your house and back again. Imagine a world where you are free from that literal baggage. Well that world is here. With modern technology, it is now easy to visually present complex [...]The post Five Things to Consider When Using a Mobile Device to Present Your Case appeared first on Litigation Insights.

5 Tech Tips for Document Review, Production and Use at Trial

April 14th, 2014 by Cogent Legal Blog
On Wednesday, April 9, I gave a webinar on technology tips for document review, production and use at trial for the Law Practice Management and Technology Section of the California State Bar. We’re going to be posting a few of the tips on the blog if you missed the webinar. You can also download a PDF of the slide deck with all 25 tech tips here. I hope that these tips save you some time. Email me (michael.kelleher@cogentlegal.com) or give me a call at 510-350-7616 if you have questions about this or any other aspect of litigation technology.1. Tip: Capture Fields from Electronic Da...

Smiling and credibility: Is it different for male and female witnesses at trial?

April 11th, 2014 by The Jury Room
Women smile more than men. Men are typically seen as more credible than women. So these researchers decided to see if there was a relationship between smiling and assessments of credibility on actual witnesses in the courtroom.  The researchers used the Witness Credibility Scale to assess actual witnesses overall credibility. They thought that if smiling influenced observer evaluations of likability, confidence, trustworthiness and knowledge (the facets of credibility measured by the Witness Credibility Scale) then smiling could influence witness credibility. So off to the courtroom they went...

Animate: Give Your Jurors Three Dimensions, or More

April 10th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  In an age when Americans spend a stunning 11 hours every day, on average, interacting with digital media, the idea that it is somehow enough in the courtroom for trial lawyers to simply use the power of words or a few static images is becoming increasingly dated. If you really want to engage, you should give jurors something to watch, including all three dimensions plus motion and time. Psyblog recently shared some amazing brain imaging and animations showing brain structure and activity. For this post, I am going to shamelessly borrow those c...

Too trusting? You are likely also cursed with intelligence and good judgment!

April 9th, 2014 by The Jury Room
We often associate people who are especially trusting with gullibility, low self-esteem, and lower intellectual function. However, we seem to have it backwards according to new research (which successfully replicates the results of studies from 2010 and 2012).  Intelligent people are more likely to trust others while those lower in intelligence are less likely to be as trusting. The authors think it is due to intelligent people being better at judging character and thus befriending those less likely to betray them. Our take is that while they may or may not be better, they appear to have more...

Account for Entitlement and Greed

April 7th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  Last week, the U.S. Supreme Court issued an Emancipation Proclamation of sorts for campaign money. No longer, based on the 5-4 decision in McCutcheon v. FEC, would individual donors be held to limits on their total donations in any given campaign season. That decision has unleashed another wave of public disgust over the role of money in politics. The perception of the Court's grant of even more access and influence to the very wealthy reflects, to many Americans, a system that protects economic advantage and enshrines entitlement and greed. Now, whether the...

Just because I think they’re out to get me doesn’t mean they aren’t

April 7th, 2014 by The Jury Room
Not long ago we blogged about the reality that half of Americans believe in at least one public health conspiracy. The same researchers have now looked into other conspiracy theories and found similar trends: half of Americans believe at least one conspiracy theory. So. Let’s take a look at what the researchers say about the sort of personality that lies behind the acceptance of conspiracy theories. First, you need to have a tendency to attribute the reason behind unexplained or extraordinary events to “unseen and intentional forces”. Second, you need to also have a tendency to be attra...

Hurry Up and Wait – Using Silence in Depositions, Voir Dire and More

April 4th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D. Managing Director, Jury & Trial Consulting A2L Consulting When are you most likely to get the best information?  When you say nothing at all. We frequently notice that — just as a deponent, as an afterthought, is about to drop good information — he or she is interrupted by an unaware, impatient questioner jumping to a new question.  It is in that magic moment when one is pensive and a truth is about to be revealed that somebody invariably... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog

The better than average effect is even true in prison!

April 4th, 2014 by The Jury Room
You remember the better than average effect. It’s what makes us evaluate ourselves as better than others. I’m a better driver than the average driver. I’m a better swimmer than other non-competitive swimmers. Or even, I’m a better citizen than those who, unlike me, are not in prison. Yes. “I’m in jail. They are not. But, I am more moral, more kind, more self-controlled, more compassionate, more generous, more dependable, more trustworthy, and even more honest. I am not, however, more law-abiding than those who are not in jail. Because nobody’s perfect.”  Those are the findings...

Part IV – Trial Graphic Fundamentals: Guidelines for Trial

April 3rd, 2014 by Litigation Insights
This blog is the fourth in a series that focuses on the fundamentals of trial graphics. Its content is based on a program Adam Bloomberg, Litigation Insights’ Managing Director for Visual Communications, co-presented with Bryant Spann, Partner at Thomas Combs & Spann PLLC, at the 2014 Midyear Meeting of the International Association of Defense Counsel [...]The post Part IV – Trial Graphic Fundamentals: Guidelines for Trial appeared first on Litigation Insights.

Accept Some Bias

April 3rd, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  Imagine this future scenario. Those called for jury duty arrive at the courthouse. First comes security, with purses and wallets scanned on the belt while the citizens step through the metal detector. Then comes the "Neuro-Voir Dire" as candidate jurors step into a functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging (fMRI) machine so their brain activity can be measured to see if strong emotional reactions or memories are being activated when they are shown various images or hear different names and facts. Those who are determined to have bias in that manner are excused from j...

The Science of Jury Selection and the Art of Conversation

April 2nd, 2014 by Tsongas Litigation Consulting, Inc.
Recently I was asked to participate in a jury selection seminar to provide insight on the most contemporary views on jury selection, scientific jury selection, and the role of supplemental juror questionnaires. As I was preparing my presentation, a 24/7 news program was cycling in my peripheral vision, both creating and filling a demand for immediate and constant information reported as it happens, and sharing the few “facts” that trickled in.  As I thought about cutting-edge scientific jury selection issues, what I kept coming back to, given the distraction of the cable news, was a simpl...

Don’t Be the 2% – 6 Ways to Encourage Settlement with Trial Prep

April 2nd, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D. Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting While we have seen a decline in the number of cases that actually get tried, as opposed to the ones that get dismissed or settled, it is a small fraction. What does it take to be in that roughly 2% of cases that make it to trial? An unreasonable party or two, whether because it is personal, unrealistic expectations of a client unwilling to listen to counsel’s opinion, a desire to avoid finality without... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog

Women as Expert Witnesses: The good, the sad, and the ugly

April 2nd, 2014 by The Jury Room
Female attorneys know they a special challenge to being accepted as authoritative, just because they are women. Looks like things are about the same for expert witnesses who are women. A new literature review just published by Tess M.S. Neal in Behavioral Sciences and the Law offers a succinct picture of what the research has found over the years. This is an article well worth reading and we are only going to cover the main effect summary findings. There are few rays of sunshine in this research but it’s important information to know (and we bet Tess Neal will be around doing good work for s...

Don’t Let Your Trial Graphics Go Beyond Advocacy to Misleading

April 1st, 2014 by Cogent Legal Blog
Looking through the Yahoo news feed yesterday, I came upon an article about a misleading graph used by a major news organization. With a little bit of additional research, I found many additional examples of news graphs and charts that are intentionally misleading, and I realized this is something that’s worth bringing to the attention of trial attorneys. If you are an attorney who deals with graphs and charts presented by opposing counsel, then understanding the basic ways in which these graphics can mislead is the foundation of being able to properly object and have them thrown out.Ad...

Litigation Tech Tip: Clean Up Hard Returns From the Text of Scanned PDF Docs

April 1st, 2014 by Cogent Legal Blog
For today’s litigation technology tip, I have a quick way to strip out unwanted hard returns from the text of Acrobat documents.Litigators often need to copy text from the image of one document (e.g., from an opponent’s discovery response) and paste it into another document (e.g., a discovery motion). Unfortunately, copying text from a scanned Acrobat PDF will often copy unwanted hard returns. These hard returns mess with the formatting of your destination document.To solve this problem, I take the following steps:Open a blank Microsoft Word document;Highlight and copy the text fro...

Trial Presentation Software Sale!

Recent posts on the Trial Technology LinkedIn group announce new releases of two popular trial presentation software packages, both getting some extra attention with a limited-time price reduction. If you’ve been considering ExhibitViewor TrialPad, now would be the time to buy. Here are the posts:ExhibitViewHiTrial Tech folks...I asked Ted before posting this. Our company ExhibitView has released serious updates to ExhibitView & TranscriptPro. We will offer this group a serious offer."Anyone in this group, and only in this group, can acquire a copy of ExhibitView or TranscriptPro for 1 w...

Counterpunch: Ten Ways to Fight Back on Cross

March 31st, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  A good witness should not see cross-examination as an argument, but neither should that witness see it as a time to be agreeable and passive with opposing counsel. Because the inherent conflict of cross piques the jurors’ interest, it can be a critical time. The two sides are in direct conflict and the jury has the ability to decide first-hand who seems to be winning at that moment. Given the stakes, it is too dangerous for a witness to just be led along by opposing counsel, comforting themselves with the knowledge that, “Well, at least I got to tell my side ...

“He’s a Jew. Now I don’t mean nothin’ bad by that…”

March 31st, 2014 by The Jury Room
Recently, we were doing a mock trial and came to the part of the day when jurors were discussing impressions of the witnesses. One of the female jurors mentioned a witness seemed “depressed and beat down” and that she had been surprised by his demeanor. An older white male snorted and said, “Surprised? You’ve never been to New York City. I guarantee you, one in three business men in New York City look just like him.” The woman expressed confusion, and the man expounded further, “He’s a Jew….Now I don’t mean nothin’ bad by that.”  There was a silence in the room for a...

Why Do I Need A Mock Trial If There Is No Real Voir Dire?

March 28th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D. Managing Director, Jury & Trial Consulting A2L Consulting Answer: So you can learn the best story for the worst jury. Have you ever gotten to your seat on an airplane and, without speaking to anyone, seen who was next to you and thought, “This is gonna be trouble!”? Or boarded a train and decided to keep walking before choosing your seat? Of course you have. And that’s because there is a wealth of information that we, as humans, gather instinctively... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog

Simple Jury Persuasion: “It makes no difference to me but I’m sure it would to a lot of other people.”

March 28th, 2014 by The Jury Room
The study of bias fascinates us. We can easily spot prejudice in others but are oblivious to our own biases. We often ask a question at the end of a research project about community values and whether our (uniformly unbiased and considerate) mock jurors think others in the area would be biased against a party involved in the lawsuit about which they have just heard. Maybe the off-topic and irrelevant bias (perhaps religion, country of origin, ability to speak English, thick accent, appearing to be a gang member, sexual orientation, marital fidelity, obesity, etc.). Typically, the answer is, ...

Jury Research Education Series | Standard Deviation: What It Means & Why It’s Important

March 27th, 2014 by Litigation Insights
While onsite, the Litigation Insights team collects data that gives our clients an idea of how each juror is leaning, etc. For instance, at key junctures in the presentations, jurors complete short questionnaires designed to track their individual case leanings over the course of the day. At each juncture, we calculate the average case leaning [...]The post Jury Research Education Series | Standard Deviation: What It Means & Why It’s Important appeared first on Litigation Insights.

Do Not Let Silence (or Compromise) Deafen Your Defense

March 27th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Kevin Boully:  “Terrible things happened.” On your client’s watch. Do you know what you want to say in response?  For the last few weeks, including just yesterday, GM has been front-page with ongoing public communication driven by its February 25th recall of part failures linked to 12 deaths. President Alan Batey apologized for the carmaker's ignition switch issues and CEO Mary Barra has spoken on video a mix of contrition, responsibility, and public relations lingo that accomplished some of the goals of a public apology.  GM’s admission of responsibility is unequ...

Powerful Preconceptions and Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 TV Coverage

March 27th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D. Managing Director, Jury Consulting A2L Consulting The year is 2014. We can land on Mars, predict earthquakes, and, with GPS, find a lost dog, a misplaced cell phone, or just about anything else. When you get an X-Ray, “x” marks the spot of what’s there, whether a fracture or something else. The general public, which largely thinks of satellites as a combination of science and magic, cannot comprehend why, then, if the satellites of several nations have... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog

What do those jurors really know about science and technology?

March 26th, 2014 by The Jury Room
Lawyers are often taken aback when they hear mock jurors discussing their case and demonstrating little understanding of what was actually presented in evidence. We tend to see that emotional reaction go hand in hand with the excess consumption of peanut M&Ms. The more distorted the mock juror’s understanding of the evidence, the more the supply of peanut M&Ms in the room dwindles and the more attorneys pace back and forth and talk with their mouths full.  My Dad was a pilot stationed in Italy during WWII, and enjoyed telling a story about a guy in his flight group who somehow thoug...

Q&A with Derek Ryan on Business Development and Litigation Graphics

March 25th, 2014 by Cogent Legal Blog
If you’re a partner at a small firm, you know that every new position that’s created and filled matters exponentially more than a single hiring at a big firm. Payroll will spike with each new addition, and everyone will work closely together. It’s therefore imperative to hire someone who can wear different hats, who’s an enthusiastic “team player” and who’s genuinely likable.Here at our three-year-old firm, Cogent Legal, my partner Mike Kelleher and I recently created a key position. We knew we had to find the right person with that flexible skill set...

How To Emotionally Move Your Audience

March 25th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Laurie R. Kuslansky, Ph.D. Managing Director, Jury Consulting A2L Consulting “One ought to hold on to one's heart; for if one lets it go, one soon loses control of the head too.”  ― Friedrich Nietzsche In other words, once emotion comes into play, fact and reason go out the door. For at least one side of the courtroom, that is the precise goal. For the other, the goal is to combat it, but if you cannot beat them, then you must learn how to join them. What does that mean? There... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog

Find Your Closure

March 24th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  What happened to Flight 370? For more than two weeks the world has searched for answers. As of press time for this post, investigators have found debris that they believe marks the end of the flight in the Indian Ocean, but that is just prompting new, possibly unanswerable questions about why the plane veered so far off course. These initial and potentially continuing lack of answers has made the Malaysian flight story a very difficult one for us to handle. We like our stories to be nicely buttoned up as soon as possible. From Aristotle all the way to today's med...

Witness Preparation: The Most Important Part

March 24th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
Ryan H. Flax Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting Winning at trial is largely about the juror’s gut reactions to you as an attorney and to your witnesses, as well as their gut reactions to the counterparts on the other side of the courtroom. Trial testimony and videoed deposition testimony are the lenses through which jurors (and the court) will get to know those individuals that know the most about your case. These situations are often the make or break moments during a... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog

Think conspiracy theorists live on the fringes? Think again!

March 24th, 2014 by The Jury Room
Amazingly, a study published in a highly respected medical journal (as opposed to, say, a Bigfoot site) found that 49% of those living in the United States believe at least one medical conspiracy theory. That’s only where it starts–18% believe in three or more. Wow.  The researchers wondered if US residents believe the public health conspiracies that have flourished over the past 50 years (over issues such as “water fluoridation, vaccines, cell phones and alternative medicine”). A “nationally representative, online survey sample of 1,351 adults” was gathered in 2013 by a mark...

Animations and Demonstratives—Lessons From a Murder Trial

March 22nd, 2014 by Cogent Legal Blog
Judicial opinions, even unpublished ones, can teach us about using animations and demonstratives in court. Today, I’ll review decisions from a murder trial that illustrate three important lessons for visual aids:(1) Tie animations or other visual aids tightly to the evidence in the case;(2) Use simple visual aids to help jurors understand and track the evidence; and(3) Design visual aids that communicate your themes to the jury.The two decisions, People v. Taeotui, Cal. Court of Appeal, 4th Appellate Dist., 1st Div. 2010 (unpublished) and People v. Gaono, Cal. Court of Appeal, 4th Appell...

Jurors’ Attitudes Toward All Natural Food Labels

March 21st, 2014 by Litigation Insights
What do jurors expect when they see the label “all natural?” “All natural” has been showing up on food labels more and more, as have lawsuits about labeling.  Litigation Insights investigated how jurors respond to labeling and food product manufacturers by collecting survey data from jury eligibles nationwide.  A sampling of results are depicted below.  [...]The post Jurors’ Attitudes Toward All Natural Food Labels appeared first on Litigation Insights.

Beware of the Unknowns in Your Story

March 21st, 2014 by Tsongas Litigation Consulting, Inc.
At the time of this blog, it’s been nearly two weeks since Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 went missing, and the attention paid to this story has grown exponentially over this period of time. I, like most people, find the mystery of what happened fascinating. Major news networks are running constant coverage and new theories are reported, blogged, and tweeted about everyday. The reaction people are having to this story, and the ensuing speculation about what really happened, is similar to something we often see in pre-trial research. When litigation is filled with gaps or unknowns, which neithe...

10 Things Litigators Can Learn From Newscasters

March 21st, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting High-caliber newscasters are an interesting group. They inform, they teach and they persuade us. They use visuals in a way that complements what they are saying quite seamlessly. Their attire is impeccable, they look the part, and their delivery feels more like a conversation than a lecture. Somehow, they confidentially speak to an audience who can't talk back to them, and yet they manage to build a relationship with that... Read more at http://www.A2LC.com/blog