Make It Chunky: Eight Best Practices for a Structure that Sticks

October 18th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: It is one of those factors of advocacy that is understood at a basic level, but not practiced at an effective level: Structure. Whenever you are verbally presenting — opening statement, closing argument, oral argument, CLE’s — organize your content into clear and discrete main points. Litigators know that, of course, since it was one of the central messages of your public speaking 101 class, and is reinforced in law school. Trial lawyers know they should be organized, but they don’t always know that this means conveying information in pieces — “chunks” in the vernacular of

Get it Right – The First Time & Every Time

October 18th, 2018|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

Not too long ago, I attended a lawyers’ luncheon at which the speaker was the president of the Florida Bar. He made a few comments about various challenges lawyers face with their clients, specifically, the expectation by the client that they essentially have all of the answers so that they get it right the first time, and every time. That’s a pretty tall order, but it sums up the expectations. In the types of high stakes cases in which we get involved, the pressure is on high for everyone! Good lawyers know there are limits to what they know and

Religious beliefs among Black men and women in the United States

October 18th, 2018|The Jury Room (Keene Trial Consulting)|

Pew Research has a new post up comparing the religious beliefs of Black men to those of Black women (as well as White and Hispanic men and women). We’ve written here about the roles of religion and race (and who you want on your jury when) a number of different times here. Most recently, we blogged on the religious practices of Black Americans when compared to White Americans.  Over time, Pew has developed a scale that considers four topics (i.e., frequency of prayer, belief in God, attendance at religious services, and the importance of religion in one’s life) to assess

Font choice that can improve your memory (and maybe  the memory of your jurors as well)

October 16th, 2018|The Jury Room (Keene Trial Consulting)|

That’s a pretty amazing claim, don’t you think? It’s also a very annoying looking font but you can download it free so there is that. We’ve written here about font choices a number of times and it appears that the more you have to focus and concentrate to read a font (that disruption is called “creating a disfluency”), the more you will remember. So. This new font is called Sans Forgetica. No. We didn’t make that up.  The font was designed in Australia at RMIT University. The font creators are graphic design students, psychologists, and researchers and (presumably) they brought

Explaining Probability? Use Frequencies Rather Than Percentages

October 15th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Jurors and judges sometimes need to understand testimony regarding probability. For a criminal jury, maybe that probability relates to the chances of a false-positive on DNA identification. In a products case, maybe it concerns a failure rate. In an employment discrimination class action, it may relate to differing hiring percentages. And in a legacy contamination case, perhaps it relates to the risks of the future spread of a toxin. In each of these situations, the judge or jury will need to understand and apply the statistics in a realistic manner. That isn’t always easy, and often won’t

Putting the Spotlight on Bias Blind Spots

October 13th, 2018|The Advantage Blog - Tsongas Litigation Consulting|

In an ideal world, every decision we make would involve a careful and logical evaluation of every fact, data, or piece of evidence associated with the subject of the decision. In this world, we would not rush to judgement based on previous experiences (e.g., I was bit by a dog as a young girl, so I do not trust this dog on the street). We would examine the available evidence (this dog is not barking or growling, it is on a leash held by a young boy, the owner assures me it is a nice dog, so I should trust