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From Voir Dire to Verdict—Online Courtroom Project’s Demonstration Online Jury Trial Results are in!

July 16th, 2020|

July 16, 2020 Jeffrey T. Frederick, Ph.D. From Voir Dire to Verdict—Online Courtroom Project’s Demonstration Online Jury Trial Results are in!   The Online Courtroom Project has just finished a comprehensive report on their two day online demonstration trial conducted on June 26th and 27th. With many courts struggling with significant case backlogs and balancing the health risks of holding in-person trials while continuing to provide access to our justice system, this report details how online jury trials can occur online. The report details the process of how we went about designing and testing an online trial, the obstacles we

Jury Trials in the Age of Pandemics and Other Disasters/Disruptions

April 17th, 2020|

April 17, 2020 Jeffrey T. Frederick, Ph.D. Jury Trials in the Age of Pandemics and Other Disasters/Disruptions As of this writing, most jury trials have been halted.  All but a handful of states have ordered nonessential personnel to stay at home.  While many states and federal jurisdictions have set restart dates for the nonessential court functions (e.g., jury trials) in several weeks to several months, no one can confidently predict when and in what time sequence jury trials will resume across the nation.   Not only is there uncertainty in the restart date(s), but numerous reports have warned of another wave

Using Social Media News Posts in Jury Selection (and More)

June 12th, 2019|

June 12, 2019 Jeffrey T. Frederick, PhD Using Social Media News Posts in Jury Selection (and More)                                              It is becoming fairly commonplace for trial consultants, attorneys, and other entities to search for potential jurors’ social media presence.  However, limiting internet investigations of potential jurors to traditional “Google searches,” Westlaw or similar databases, and searches of social media platforms such as Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter, among others, misses an underutilized, but important resource—news media postings on social media.  Whether your case is criminal or civil, monitoring and storing relevant posts in their entirety is a must.  This applies to

Mastering Group Voir Dire: Tip 10—Don’t Let Jurors Hide

February 19th, 2019|

 February 19, 2019 Jeffrey T. Frederick, Ph.D. Mastering Group Voir Dire: Tip 10—Don’t Let Jurors Hide             So far, our Tips series has focused on setting the stage for effective voir dire (Tip 1; Tip 2; and Tip 3), capitalizing on open-ended questions to increase our understanding of jurors (Tip 4), avoiding the “looking good” bias (Tip 5), crafting questions with the “bad” answer in mind (Tip 6), using questions that contrast viewpoints or positions (Tip 7), the need to intersperse majority response questions to foster continued participation (Tip 8), and using the springboard method to encourage participation (Tip 9).

Mastering Group Voir Dire: Tip 9—Employ the Springboard Method

December 11th, 2018|

December 10, 2018 Jeffrey T. Frederick, Ph.D. Mastering Group Voir Dire: Tip 9—Employ the Springboard Method             So far, our Tips series has focused on setting the stage for effective voir dire (Tip 1; Tip 2; and Tip 3), capitalizing on open-ended questions to increase our understanding of jurors (Tip 4), avoiding the “looking good” bias (Tip 5), crafting questions with the “bad” answer in mind (Tip 6), using questions that contrast viewpoints or positions (Tip 7), and the need to intersperse majority response questions to foster continued participation (Tip 8).  Our next tip addresses the springboard method of questioning

Mastering Group Voir Dire: Tip 8—Intersperse Majority Response Questions

November 12th, 2018|

November 14, 2018 Jeffrey T. Frederick, Ph.D. Mastering Group Voir Dire: Tip 8—Intersperse Majority Response Questions Associated Press 2012             So far, our Tips series has focused on setting the stage for effective voir dire (Tip 1; Tip 2; and Tip 3), capitalizing on open-ended questions to increase our understanding of jurors (Tip 4), avoiding the “looking good” bias (Tip 5), crafting questions with the “bad” answer in mind (Tip 6), and using questions that contrast viewpoints or positions (Tip 7).  Our next tip addresses asking questions later in voir dire where the majority of jurors will raise their hands.

Mastering Group Voir Dire: Tip 7—Contrasting Important Viewpoints Within the Same Question

May 8th, 2018|

May 8, 2018 Jeffrey T. Frederick, Ph.D.             So far, our Tips series has focused on setting the stage for effective voir dire (Tip 1; Tip 2; and Tip 3), capitalizing on open-ended questions to increase our understanding of jurors (Tip 4), avoiding the “looking good” bias (Tip 5), and crafting questions with the “bad” answer in mind (Tip 6). Our next tip addresses asking questions that contrast important positions within the same question. (Click here to see a short video for this tip.) Contrasting Viewpoints or Positions             The primary goal of voir dire and jury selection is to

Mastering Group Voir Dire: Tip 6—Craft Questions With the “Bad??? Answer in Mind

February 9th, 2018|

February 8, 2018 Jeffrey T. Frederick, Ph.D.      So far, our Tips series has focused on setting the stage for effective voir dire (Tip 1; Tip 2; and Tip 3), capitalizing on open-ended questions to increase our understanding of jurors (Tip 4), and avoiding the “looking good” bias (Tip 5). Our next tip addresses potential “bad” answers and how to use them to ask better questions and get better overall results. (Click here to see a short video for this tip.) Bad Answers      Our goal in jury selection is to identify potentially unfavorable jurors whom we need to remove

Mastering Group Voir Dire: Tip 5—Avoid the “Looking Good??? Bias

June 13th, 2017|

June 7, 2017 Jeffrey T. Frederick, Ph.D.             The initial tips in our Tips series have focused on setting the stage for effective voir dire (Tip 1; Tip 2; and Tip 3) and capitalizing on open-ended questions (Tip 4) to increase our understanding of jurors.  Now I turn to a major problem in jury selection, the looking good bias, and how to avoid evoking it in jurors. (Click here to see a short video for this tip.) Looking Good Bias             The “looking good” bias (i.e., the socially desirable response bias) is an impression management strategy designed to portray a

Mastering Group Voir Dire: Tip 4—Capitalize on Open-Ended Questions

May 16th, 2017|

 May 16, 2017 Jeffrey T. Frederick, Ph.D.      So far in the Tips series, the focus has been on setting the stage for effective voir dire by (a) treating voir dire as a conversation with jurors (Tip 1); (b) using techniques that help jurors feel comfortable with speaking in court (Tip 2); and capitalizing on the initial hand-raising technique to encourage participation in the voir dire process (Tip 3).  I turn now to the nature of the questions themselves, in particular open-ended versus closed-ended questions.  While both of these formats have their place in a well-conducted voir dire, one format,