Juror Misconduct: More Prevalent Than We Think?

August 15th, 2017|

As internet use and social media become more and more prevalent,[1] the threat of jurors being biased by – or improperly sharing – internet information, has become a greater concern. Over the past several years, the legal community has been buzzing about Google mistrials and juror internet misconduct – but one problem remains – lots of hype and not a lot of data. Click here to view Respondent Demographics and Social Media Preferences In a prior study,[2] jurors in 15 criminal and civil trials completed questionnaires distributed by the judge after the conclusion of the trial. These questionnaires assessed jurors’

Why the Internet Has Permanently Changed the Techniques of Persuasion at Trial

August 15th, 2017|

It is unquestioned that technology has had a profound impact on our environment in the last couple of decades. Our brains are constantly adapting at a physical level to our environment, and research has suggested that technology has changed the way we perceive, remember, and process information. Not much has yet been said, however, about how technology has changed the ways in which jurors process information and the appropriate new styles that trial lawyers ought to use in presenting information to a jury. The growth of the internet, 24-hour television, and mobile phones means that we now receive five times

Focus on the Factors that Actually Change Minds

August 14th, 2017|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  If you've ever suffered through an extended interpersonal argument, either as a protagonist or as an observer, you might be justifiably skeptical about its usefulness. The common experience is that no one is going to budge. I've been there as well, and that is why I was intrigued when reading a study that I recently came across on effective argument. "One might think that the the outcome is trivially 'no one ever changes their mind,' since people can be amazingly resistant to evidence contravening their beliefs," the authors wrote in the first footnote, "But take heart, change

Consider the source: Even when evaluating data on  hate crimes

August 14th, 2017|

The U.S. Department of Justice defines hate crime as “the violence of intolerance and bigotry, intended to hurt and intimidate someone because of their race, ethnicity, national origin, religion, sexual orientation, or disability.” While the documentation and awareness of hate crimes is essential, we also need to understand the differences in the numbers we see reported on hate crimes, increases and decreases for specific types of hate crimes, and what those shifts in numbers actually mean. We often see comments about one kind of hate crime being more “important” than another due to a spike in frequency. Today’s article points

3 Types of Litigation Graphics Consultants

August 10th, 2017|

As you might expect, I think about the litigation graphics industry a good deal. It’s a fairly new industry, and it is undergoing constant change. The way I think about it, the industry is actually fairly small. There are perhaps three other serious national players that I would be mildly comfortable recommending when A2L is conflicted out of a case. Still, though, these firms are quite different from A2L, so a trial lawyer should expect an entirely different experience as a customer than with A2L. Most of our competition now uses the term “litigation consultant” that we first started using

Fight Confirmation Bias: Consider the Opposite

August 10th, 2017|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  For a practical persuader, one of the most disturbing features of some biases is their self-sealing nature. When an audience suffers from confirmation bias, for example, you would hope that they could be taught out of it. That is, if they're primed to think that all big corporations are evil, then you might think the prescription would be a few doses of "No, they're not." But that's the thing about confirmation bias; your audience will notice, understand, trust, and remember all the examples that support their pre-existing belief, and they'll be prone to dismiss the rest.

Gender Barriers

August 10th, 2017|

Recently an article appeared on the front page of the Sunday New York Times entitled “When Job Puts Sexes Together, Workers Cringe.” Great title – it called out for the story to be read. But, Melissa, who read it first, and I found the story shocking in terms of the data it reported. The data were from a large survey of over 5000 registered voters. The study focused on whether it was appropriate or inappropriate for people of opposite genders (not married to each other) to be alone in certain situations and the answers were broken down by gender. In

Getting a Bigger Bang for Your Litigation Buck

August 7th, 2017|

Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to work on hundreds of legal matters. From my perch as a Jury and Trial Strategy consultant, I’ve seen great lawyering and not-so-great lawyering, and I’ve seen legal teams that operate efficiently and teams that operated wastefully. My client and friend Charlie Armstrong, vice president and assistant general counsel at Flowserve Corp., can say the same. So the two of us put our heads together to compile our best advice to in-house counsel for controlling costs in complex litigation. The resulting article, Getting a Bigger Bang for Your Litigation Buck, was published in

Prepare for your Post-Fact Jury: Top Posts

August 7th, 2017|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  The news cycle these days seems to be dedicated to keeping the question front and center: "Are we as a society losing our grip on facts?" And if we are, I'd add a complementary question, "What does this say to legal persuaders?" An article at the end of last year appeared in Law 36o written by trial consultant, Ross Laguzza, citing data from his own company to support the view that jurors may be on their way to becoming more fact-resistant. For example, 54 percent say "Beliefs guide my life," as opposed to 46 percent who say "Facts guide

Making Your Expert More Memorable and Understandable Through Visuals

August 5th, 2017|

I remember when I made the transition from student to teacher how excited I was to have the opportunity to instruct students the way I thought they really wanted to be taught – by presenting interesting lectures from which they could learn. How did I know that students wanted to learn that way? Because that is how I liked to learn, and I figured everyone else was the same. After my first quarter, I mentioned to my wife-to-be the struggles I was having connecting with students. I told her my theory about how (I thought) students wanted to learn. Since