The Top 10 Tips for Selling Professional Services

September 17th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting As the founder of A2L Consulting I've had the opportunity to do every job in the company at some point in the last 20 years. I enjoy technical work that requires deeply complex thinking. I'm great at conceptualizing litigation graphics for opening statements. Not surprisingly, as CEO, I also love leadership and strategy. However, the job I love the most is helping people connect with the right people at A2L who can solve their challenges. Usually,... Read more at

The Disgust Scale: How have we missed this all this time?

September 17th, 2014 by The Jury Room
We’ve covered a lot of the disgust research so it is curious to us that somehow we missed sharing the actual Disgust Scale with you earlier. The Disgust Scale was developed by the infamous Jonathan Haidt (his surname is pronounced “height”) back in 1994 before disgust was considered cool. In brief, the Disgust Scale was designed to “assess sensitivity to seven domains of potential disgust-eliciting stimuli (i.e., Food, Animals, Body Products, Sex, Body Envelope Violations, Death and Hygiene) and levels of Sympathetic Magic (i.e., beliefs about the transmission of contagion)”. The Dis...

Flip the Order of Your Adverse Witness Preparation

September 15th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  Let’s say that in trial, your witness will be called adverse and will go through the other side’s cross-examination before getting a chance at your direct.[1]  But in your preparation sessions, you should still take them through your direct examination first. That’s what I call the “flipped” order, and in this post, I aim to make the case for this as the better approach. Most defense attorneys and witness consultants will intuitively follow the opposite order: Because your witness is likely to be called in the other side’s case, you start wit...

“Smart people ask for (my) advice!”

September 15th, 2014 by The Jury Room
We are often wary of asking for advice for fear of looking dumb or appearing incompetent. Oddly enough, our fears may be unfounded based on some new research out of Harvard Business School. According to the researchers, asking for advice does not make you appear either dumb or incompetent. Instead, asking for advice makes you seem more capable. While initially this may seem unlikely, think about how much people love to give advice. When someone is asked for advice, they experience a boost in self-confidence, which, say the researchers, in turn enhances their opinion of the person seeking advic...

Why Didn’t My Witness Do What I Told Him To Do During Witness Preparation?

September 12th, 2014 by Litigation Insights
It’s a universal experience. Nearly every attorney who has ever sat down for witness preparation before a deposition, or before trial, to provide clear instructions and guidelines about what to say/not say, or what to do/not do, has at some point found himself asking: “Why didn’t s/he listen to me?!” Recognize Testifying Is an Unnatural [...]The post Why Didn’t My Witness Do What I Told Him To Do During Witness Preparation? appeared first on Litigation Insights.

The Fear of Missing Out (FoMO) Scale

September 12th, 2014 by The Jury Room
Social media applications have made it much easier for us to know what our friends are doing. While this knowledge can have positive benefit, it can also result in a paralyzing fear of missing out (popularly known as FoMO). FoMO has even made the Oxford Dictionary and is defined there as “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website”. Researchers in 2011 and 2012 defined FoMO as “the uneasy and sometimes all-consuming feeling that you’re missing out — that your peers are doing, in the kno...

Practice is a Crucial Piece of the Storytelling Puzzle

September 11th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Ryan H. Flax, Esq. Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting This article is the last in a series of six articles about storytelling and trial preparation. Parts 1-5 are linked at the bottom of this article. What is a trial attorney supposed to do after he or she has developed a theme and a story plus some graphics to support them visually? The answer is, test them. I encourage you to use mock juries, not to predict the outcome of your trial, but to see what themes... Read more at

PowerPoint Skills for Litigators – Free Webinar Wed. 10/8 at Noon Pacific

September 11th, 2014 by Cogent Legal Blog
Litigators use (and misuse) PowerPoint more than any other presentation tool. At Cogent Legal, we often help litigators with PowerPoint, and now we plan to share some of our PowerPoint secrets for litigators in a free webinar. The webinar will be held on Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at noon Pacific, and you can register by clicking here.In the webinar, we’ll start with a blank PowerPoint screen and finish with a polished timeline slide. Along the way, we’ll learn how to create and edit master slides and slide layouts, how to draw and edit simple objects in PowerPoint, and how to cr...

Get It in Writing: Seven Reasons for a Jury Questionnaire (And Three Things That Kill Its Usefulness)

September 11th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  A recent piece in The New York Times focuses on the increasing prevalence of longer questionnaires for those called in for jury duty.  While such questionnaires tend to attract media attention in high-profile cases, the article notes that they've "become a familiar presence in courtrooms across the United States." The reaction from consultants and many litigators, though, is probably "...still not as familiar as we would like." While the article focuses on questions of often-limited utility (e.g., What TV shows do you watch?), the use of a...

Windows 8 and That Annoying Little Toolbar

If you've upgraded to Windows 8, and are doing anything with dual monitors, you may have seen that little stripe visible at the bottom of your second monitor. If you're in auto-hide mode with the Toolbar, mousing over it brings it up. If not, it just stays there on both screens.While this may be a nice idea if you're running dual monitors on your standard work desktop, it's certainly not ideal for use in Trial Presentation. Nobody wants to see which apps you have open, or a little stripe on the bottom of the display. Worse yet, if you happen to get an alert, it begins flashing. Not pretty duri...

“The iPhone Effect”: Can you say polyconsciousness?

September 10th, 2014 by The Jury Room
We know smartphones can be really annoying when they distract our lunch or meeting companions from our scintillating repartee. There is even recent (2013) research showing women are twice as likely to be annoyed by smart phone interruptions as are men. But that research is already a year old and perhaps we’ve gotten used to being ignored in favor of some unknown other. So here’s some very new (July, 2014) research showing that no, we have not gotten used to being disrespected as our companions choose their smartphones over us. These researchers say that smartphones create a state of “pol...

Go Ahead and Pace

September 8th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  When I’m in my office and on a client call where I’m expected to contribute creative thoughts, I will frequently close the door, put the telephone headset on, and pace circles around my office.  And when I’m stumped over the course of a couple days by something for this blog, like a topic or a way to frame it, I will sometimes take a short stroll or a bike ride and find that afterward, without any conscious effort on my part, the problem has been solved. There is something about movement that frees the mind and lets the more creative thoughts flow. A r...

Why Trial Graphics are an Essential Persuasion Tool for Litigators

September 8th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Ryan H. Flax, Esq. Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting As I pointed out in my last post, the oral telling of a story must be accompanied by visuals if it is to be fully effective. Studies show that most (reportedly as high as 61-65%) of the public prefers to learn by seeing and watching. The majority of attorneys, on the other hand, do not prefer to learn this way but are auditory and kinesthetic learners: They typically learn by hearing and/or... Read more at

Does Face-to-Face Interaction Promote Honesty?

September 8th, 2014 by The Jury Room
I listen to a lot of audiobooks while traveling. But sometimes I want something less lengthy than a full book and so I turn to podcasts. Recently, I was on a plane and turned on an episode of the NPR TED Radio Hour podcast on Why We Lie. It’s an interesting and wide-ranging look at all the reasons we lie and the research that’s been done on identifying liars. Some of it we have covered on the blog and some of it was new to me. But it was an enjoyable way to spend an hour in the middle seat of a sold-out plane. So when I saw the research report that inspired this blog post, I wondered just ...

Free Top-50 Articles E-Book! Help Us Celebrate 5000 Subscribers!

September 5th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting It may not feel as if it’s been that long, but we’ve been putting out this blog, The Litigation Consulting Report, for just about 3 ½ years. And in that time, we have written nearly 400 posts on dozens of trial and presentation-related subjects, on everything from TED talks to the George Zimmerman trial to voir dire techniques. Our success, though, is entirely traceable to you, our readers. In these 3 ½ years, we’ve steadily accumulated regular readers,... Read more at

“70% of Americans see immigration as threat to American way of life”

September 5th, 2014 by The Jury Room
We’ve blogged about immigration a number of times here and now it’s popped up again.  After the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, we found a question on attitudes toward immigration successfully differentiated between Plaintiff and Defense jurors for several years. Attitudes differentiating “us” versus “them” have always had utility when anticipating some kinds of juror attitudes, but the lines seemed to become more sharply drawn after 9/11/2001. The Christian Science Monitor recently published the results of a Reuters survey on attitudes toward immigration and cited the following: ...

The Challenge of Alternative Damage Figures

September 5th, 2014 by Tsongas Litigation Consulting, Inc.
I didn’t believe it until I saw it myself. It was the 1990s, and I was learning how to apply my graduate school knowledge to the field of trial consulting. I was doing this the way many do, facilitating focus group after focus group and mock jury after mock jury. This particular case was a product liability case. I was watching a mock jury deliberate, and as sometimes happens, the group was having a freeform discussion. They weren’t following the verdict form in a linear manner; instead they were depending on their feelings. Consequently, they were discussing liability, damages, an...

Get Beyond "Can You Be Fair?"

September 4th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  I recently wrote about "prehabilitation," the new term for the old practice of talking a juror out of their biases. That prompted a recollection of an article that I wrote a while back, but never included here in this blog. So, with some thanks to The Jury Expert for the reprint permission, here it is:  This scenario happens at some point in nearly every voir dire. First, a juror reveals a bias for or against one of the parties. Juror: I just really don’t trust big companies. What with all the media stories and all the scandals, well, I jus...

5 Essential Elements of Storytelling and Persuasion

September 4th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
by Ryan H. Flax, Esq. Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting As I pointed out in my previous blog post, when a lawyer uses storytelling effectively at trial, he or she is literally eliciting a reaction from the brain areas and the neurochemicals that are the basis of any human being’s foundation for biological survival. Storytelling, in fact, serves the biological function of encouraging pro-social behavior. Effective stories reinforce the concepts that if... Read more at

Don’t Let “Cues” From The Jurors or Judge Lead to Impulsive Decisions

September 3rd, 2014 by Sound Jury Blog
Share this with: By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. One of the greatest difficulties in any trial is coping with the uncertainty of the outcome. There is a sense (or at least an illusion) of control in just about everything leading up to the moment attorneys must present the issues to the trier-of-fact. And then there is uncertainty: How will the judge perceive the issues? How will the jurors perceive the issues? This uncertainty, based on my experience, seems particularly vexing for attorneys. Attorneys seem built to control and this makes sense. Anyone who is passionate about strategy and argum...

“S/he is just not one of us…”

September 3rd, 2014 by The Jury Room
Just over a year ago, The Jury Expert published an article on bias and ambiguity in times of economic stress. The article was titled Does This Recession Make Me Look Black? –and it focused on how White Americans see racially ambiguous appearing others as in-group members until times are tough and then we see them as out-group members (i,e, Black). In that case, it was about multi-racial targets who were seen as White in times of economic plenty but as African-American in times of economic recession. Today’s article looks at very similar patterns but through the lens of social dominance...

Consider Confidence

September 1st, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  In foreign policy, the projection of certainty and confidence can be as important as the strategy. On that score, it hasn't been an easy few weeks for the Obama administration. While some find it refreshing for leaders to avoid quick bravado in response to complex world events, others have attacked everything from the President's choice in suit color ("The Audacity of Taupe") to the admission of a lack of strategy in response to events in Iraq and Syria. Critics argue that this lack of confidence projects uncertainty which weakens our position and emboldens our en...

Simple Jury Persuasion: “The defendant is just an animal!” 

September 1st, 2014 by The Jury Room
Here’s a pretty simple way for Prosecutors to motivate jurors to lock up a Defendant and throw away the key. It’s all about language. There are words you can use to evoke a more negative (animalistic) sense of the Defendant and there are words that, while still describing egregious behavior, are more neutrally descriptive. The researchers say that when the observer sees the Defendant as more animalistic, they recommend a harsher punishment because they see the Defendant as more likely to re-offend, and scarier. Specifically, participants who were presented the case in the animalistic condi...

Metaphors as a Teaching Tool

August 29th, 2014 by Tsongas Litigation Consulting, Inc.
There are times when I’m working with clients when I’ll suggest a colorful metaphor as a way of communicating an idea about the case.  Sometimes these suggestions are well-received, and other times an attorney might be reluctant to implement the idea because they see it as “fluff” that doesn’t contribute to the goal of proving the facts of the case. I have to admit there was a time when I agreed with such sentiments.  As a learner, and then subsequently as a teacher, I subscribed to a “just the facts” approach to the exchange of ideas.  I wanted to know the facts o...

Trial Skills: A new issue of The Jury Expert is up!

August 29th, 2014 by The Jury Room
The August issue of The Jury Expert is up and we think you’re going to want to see this. Here’s a rundown of the articles you’ll find at the website. Demographic Roulette: What was once a bad idea has gotten worse. Authored by Doug Keene and Rita Handrich with a response from Paul Begala, this article takes a look at how the country has changed over the past 2 decades and our old definitions of Democrat or Republican and conservative or liberal are simply no longer useful. What does that mean for voir dire? What should it mean for voir dire? Two very good questions those. If it feels bad...

Tips for Better Presenting Photographs in Court

August 28th, 2014 by Cogent Legal Blog
Well-presented photographs are powerful tools for litigators. In this post, I’ll share some samples that show how we’ve helped litigators use photographs in court, along with a number of tips for getting the most from your photographs in litigation.A Sample Blow-Up Board of Photographs(Click on the images in this post to enlarge them for better viewing.)The sample above illustrates several of our tips at once, in particular:Tip 1: Use many photographs to tell a visual story. In planning for the use of photographs, think broadly about using many images that set a scene for th...

Listen to Jurors, Especially to Juror #13 From Pamela Smart Trial

August 28th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  There is a new documentary in current rotation on HBO and and it's one that trial lawyers and other legal junkies will want to watch. Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart provides a detailed look at the 1991 trial of the New Hampshire school employee who was tried and convicted for accessory to murder in a case that later become the inspiration for the movie To Die For starring Nicole Kidman. According to prosecutors, Smart seduced one of the students and then recruited him to murder her husband. What separates Captivated from othe...

7 Reasons Litigation Graphics Consultants are Essential Even When Clients Have In-House Expertise

August 27th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Ken Lopez Founder/CEO A2L Consulting I frequently encounter trial teams that say things like: "My client has some graphics capabilities in-house." "Our client is a top expert in the field, so they want to explain the technology to the jury in their own way." "My client wants to stand up at trial and use a flip chart to explain the science." I hear these and other similar statements most frequently in patent cases and other science or technology-focused cases. On... Read more at

Just how diverse is this group, really?

August 27th, 2014 by The Jury Room
We often make assumptions when discussing diversity that we all perceive a group’s diversity in the same way. Today’s research shows that simply isn’t so. That is, you and I (depending on our racial in-group) can look at the same group and you might say it is diverse while I say it is not. What makes the difference? It’s an intriguing question. These researchers discuss how diversity means different things to different people and yet, we often discuss diversity as though “everyone ought to know it when they see it”. In other words, we often conceptualize ‘diversity’ as objectiv...

Best Courtroom Presentation Provider, Once Again

August 27th, 2014 by Cogent Legal Blog
We’re honored and thankful that The Recorder has recognized Cogent Legal as “Best Courtroom Presentation Provider” in its 2014 Annual Survey. This is the second year in a row that Cogent received the honor.If you’re one of the people that voted for us in The Recorder’s survey, thank you. We appreciate it. We are glad that we earned your trust, and we will continue trying to deserve it.If you haven’t worked with us yet, we hope you will consider letting us help you over the next year. We’ll do our best to get you into court with graphics and technology ...

Storytelling Proven to be Scientifically More Persuasive

August 26th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
by Ryan H. Flax, Esq. Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting In my last post, I discussed how important it is for every litigator to tell a story, because jurors will always frame the facts of a trial in the form of a story. As storytelling litigators, we need to relay to our audience: (1) what happened; (2) where it happened; and (3) why we care. We must set the scene: By the time you’re done with your opening statement, your audience should know “what the weather was like”... Read more at

Don’t Prehabilitate

August 25th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: It’s always nice to announce a birth, to welcome something new into the world. In this case, weighing in at 15 letters and 6 syllables, it’s a new word: “prehabilitation!” And it’s a pretty useful word for those wanting to understand, teach, and most importantly, fix oral voir dire. The word is the focus of an article in the current issue of The Jury Expert, written by Centre College psychology professor Mykol Hamilton and three of her students (Hamilton et al., 2014). According to the authors, the contraction of “premature rehabilitation” occurs when pan...

Women are easily misled so why not lie to them in negotiations?

August 25th, 2014 by The Jury Room
Back in 2012, we wrote about which gender was the more moral in negotiations. (Spoiler alert: it was women.) Now we have a new article on why women get lied to in negotiations. Not when or if–but why. Basically, people believe women are more easily misled than men and people believe women to be less competent than men. Therefore, “negotiators deceived women more so than men, thus leading women into more deals under false pretenses than men”. The researchers completed three separate studies and (to add insult to injury) these were not experiments using the ubiquitous undergraduate. Th...

RIP Demographics? Well, probably not…

August 22nd, 2014 by The Jury Room
We’ve just published a new article in The Jury Expert that “should” signal the death of the simplistic use of demographics in voir dire and jury selection. Will it? Not likely. Partly this is the fault of courts that are becoming increasingly restrictive of time and the scope of questions posed to jurors. If litigants cannot ask substantive questions, they are left to rely on the broad impressions, which are often wrong and are generally based on stereotypes rather than knowledge of individual biases. Be that as it may, we still think it’s important for all of us to know how chan...

DOAR’s Dr. Roy Featured in Today’s NY Times

August 21st, 2014 by OpenDOAR Blog
DOAR’s Dr. Roy and his interactive quiz  ”Will You Be Seated On A Jury?“ featured in today’s New York Times. TV Habits? Medical History? Tests for Jury Duty Get Personal Do you believe in an “eye for an eye”? What do your parents do for a living? Do you watch “CSI”? “Dateline”? Read Have you ever Read More…

Compare the City and Country Juror

August 21st, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  Litigation has one thing in common with real estate: location matters. There will be reliable differences when trying a case in one venue versus another. And some of the most reliable differences come down to the sometimes vast distance between a city jury and a country jury. The distinctions are often measured in politics, but the attitudes can extend far beyond that. Still, politics is a pretty good place to start. For example, try comparing a red/blue map at county level (like the one here), with a nighttime satellite image of America from space (like the ...

Storytelling at Trial – Will Your Story Be Used?

August 21st, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Ryan H. Flax, Esq. Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting In my last post, I discussed the importance of every trial lawyer of developing a two-track procedure in every trial – one track that focuses on developing a convincing story that jurors can instinctively relate to, and one track that focuses on building a record of law and facts for a possible appeal. The first thing that every trial lawyer must do is recognize this two-track necessity and begin to... Read more at

Planning For Courtroom Persuasion? Use a Two-Track Trial Strategy

August 20th, 2014 by The Litigation Consulting Report
  by Ryan H. Flax, Esq. Managing Director, Litigation Consulting A2L Consulting How early in the litigation process should you think about how a jury will react to your case, your client, or you? When should you begin to develop your case themes and storylines? Which is more important to your chances of winning a trial – having a compelling story to tell, or bringing in solid evidence under the law? Here’s an easy one: When you get to the appeal, would you rather be writing the red or... Read more at

Be still my heart: A short (one-item!) measure of narcissism? 

August 20th, 2014 by The Jury Room
We are all about short measures of psychological constructs. You might say watching the development of various scales is a hobby here (just look at all these posts!). With rare exception, courts don’t permit lengthy questionnaires, or questions that sound like a psychological screening test. So when the Neuroskeptic blogged about a new one-item scale for narcissism, it got our attention quickly. True to his name, the Neuroskeptic isn’t so sure this is a good measure of actual narcissism–although it is highly correlated with other self-report measures of narcissism. We have different ...

HDMI v. VGA: Time to Upgrade?

Although the HDMI video format has been available for several years now, the majority of courtroom trial presentations are still done with VGA cables and equipment in a 4:3 format. For comparison, the diagram below shows common settings with monitor #2 in 16:9 (1920x1080), and monitor #1 in 4:3 (1024x768). If you’re planning on providing your own projector and associated equipment, you can decide whether to go with something that nearly anyone can connect to (VGA), or with a format that offers a higher resolution (HDMI) with more pixels and a sharper picture. If you’re connecting to an exi...

Take Care With Character Attacks

August 18th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  Late last week, as large crowds in Ferguson continued to protest the police shooting of the 18-year-old unarmed Michael Brown, Police Chief Thomas Jackson made two announcements. One, he released the name of the officer involved (Darren Wilson) after it was already released by the hacker goup Anonymous.  And two, he released surveillance footage showing what appears to be Brown stealing a box of cigars and shoving a store clerk. At first, the new disclosure seemed to change the narrative, raising the question of whether Officer Wilson was following up on the...

Jury Duty is So Much More Boring Than You Realize (And How It Impacts Your Presentation Strategy)

August 18th, 2014 by Sound Jury Blog
Share this with: By Thomas M. O’Toole, Ph.D. It finally happened this past week. I was called for jury duty. I have spent my entire adult life studying jury behavior and decision-making. I spent years in graduate school and wrote a dissertation on juror sense-making to receive my Ph.D. in legal communication and psychology. I’ve read thousands of studies on juries. I’ve worked in the field for over a decade. I’ve watched hundreds of mock juries deliberate. Yet, I had never been called for jury duty. There were many surprising things about the experience, but most surprising were the d...

Simple Jury Persuasion: When videos are too persuasive…

August 18th, 2014 by The Jury Room
It’s hard to know why research that is a almost a decade old is seen as fodder for a recent Op-Ed in the New York Times, but so it goes. Jennifer Mnookin, a law professor at UCLA, certainly has an impressive resumé, and it is likely most readers of the NYT are not familiar with camera perspective bias. We blogged about this research back in 2010 and mentioned it in our 2012 article on false confessions. In short, the camera perspective bias research says that when confessions are videotaped, they “should be videotaped in their entirety and with a camera angle that focuses equally on the s...

Did you hear the one about older adults being targeted for fraud?

August 15th, 2014 by The Jury Room
Of course you did. But you may want to take a look at this study because, maybe, it isn’t true after all. It certainly is a well-known myth if it is not true. This appears to be one of those situations where we add up what we know and then come up with a conclusion that just doesn’t appear to be true. Here’s what we know: research on cognitive age-related changes and emotional age-related changes tells us there are indeed shifts that can increase the vulnerability of the older adult to consumer fraud. We conclude, thus, they are defrauded more often. This research, which is actually simp...

How Storyboards Helped Win a Multimillion-Dollar Verdict

August 14th, 2014 by Cogent Legal Blog
A recent case Cogent Legal worked on highlights how storyboards can be a great option for your case presentation.The name “storyboard” comes from animated movies where the entire plot of a movie is made in images, generally drawn by hand, representing six-second intervals of the action for the entire movie. Joe Ranft, formerly head of story at Pixar before his untimely death, was a master of the storyboard, and here’s a tribute made by the Pixar folks after his death using the storyboard format as a memorial to him.I had the great honor to represent Joe’s family in h...

Prepare Your Jurors to be Teachers

August 14th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  I've known this since my days as a college professor: If you really want to learn something, then try teaching it. And there's an important principle at the heart of that. The mindset of an active teacher is different -- and better -- than the mindset of a passive learner. When you're taking the knowledge in with the expectation of imparting it later, you think of yourself as an actor, and not just a recipient. As an actor, you're processing information in ways that make for a more sophisticated and durable understanding.  That understanding applie...

“I see my patients as less than fully human”

August 13th, 2014 by The Jury Room
Here’s an intriguing article on how some nurses cope with stress. If you think, based on the title of this post, they do it by dehumanizing their patients, you would be correct. Somehow we think this is not a good thing to admit on the witness stand, but it is an understandable and human reaction to the stressful and often upsetting work that nurses have to do. Essentially, what these researchers found was that “the more patients are perceived as rational and moral, the more nurses are likely to suffer from stress, while the more patients are perceived in terms of instinct, drive, impulsiv...

Jurors bias evidence to help “their side”

August 11th, 2014 by Tsongas Litigation Consulting, Inc.
When I studied juror decision-making in graduate school, I was most concerned about the ecological and external validity of my research. That is, does the design of the study sufficiently replicate real life and are the findings generalizable to the real world? Given that I was studying juror decision-making in a lab, employing undergrads as “jurors”, and using a condensed trial transcript as my stimuli, it’s easy to see that these were legitimate concerns. However, after recently wrapping up yet another shadow jury project, I am more and more confident that research findings do reflect ...

Lawyers, Set Aside Your Own Bias in Voir Dire

August 11th, 2014 by Persuasive Litigator
By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  Every juror with a strong and relevant belief or experience is asked it in oral voir dire: "Would you be able to set that aside and base your decision on just the facts?" Attorneys conducting oral voir dire would do well to ask themselves the same question: "Are you able to set aside your own preconceptions and base your strikes on just the facts you learn from potential jurors?" Of course, we are not used to thinking of the lawyers as the ones carrying the bias. But when engaged in that critical task of assessing the experiences and attitudes of their poten...

Simple Jury Persuasion: When your Muslim female client wears a head-covering

August 11th, 2014 by The Jury Room
We’ve written a number of times about bias against Muslims. But here’s a nice article with an easy to incorporate finding on how to reduce bias against your female client who wears a Muslim head-covering. (In case you have forgotten, we’ve already written about head-coverings for the Muslim man.) The graphic illustrating this post shows the variety of head-coverings Muslim women might wear and the initial findings (as to which head covering style results in the most bias) will probably not surprise you. Researchers did four studies to see how people reacted to Muslim women wearing veils....