Judgments on social media: Hate speech from  women versus hate speech from men

September 11th, 2018|The Jury Room (Keene Trial Consulting)|

We’ve all seen this finding before: men who communicate their ideas forcefully are seen as assertive and as having leadership qualities. Women who communicate their ideas forcefully are judged more harshly and negatively. What about hate speech on social media? Are women judged more harshly than men there?  Please. You really have to ask? Of course women are judged more harshly for hate speech on social media!  And it doesn’t matter if you are a woman speaking hate or speaking what is called “counter [hate] speech” You are going to get blasted either way. This new article was published in

Some Lessons for Defendants From the Talc Liability Trials

September 10th, 2018|The Litigation Consulting Report (A2L Consulting)|

I’ve been watching the baby powder/talc trials closely for the past several years. They feature some of the world’s best lawyers, and they are pushing the boundaries of scientific evidence. For anyone in the litigation business, the talc trials, as well as the trials involving the alleged cancer-causing properties of Monsanto’s herbicide Roundup, form a fascinating window into how big-ticket cases are being tried right now. In both lines of cases, plaintiffs are showing early dominance, and I think the defense accordingly needs to adjust both how it handles demonstrative evidence and how it deals with scientific evidence. Interestingly, both

Don’t Shy Away from Politics (in Jury Selection)

September 10th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Our ability to understand and to talk to each other is increasingly determined by our political leanings. When we all sit down for family Thanksgiving in a couple of months, politics is likely to be off limits at many tables. But is it also off limits in the courtroom during voir dire? Some judges and some attorneys seem to think so. The feeling is that asking about politics is too direct and potentially threatening, creating the feeling that you’re invading the privacy of the voting booth, or asking about personal details that don’t seem germane to the case. And

Account for Recency in Jury Deliberations

September 6th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: The common expression of the recency effect, “Save the best for last,” says that the latter parts of a message will stick in the memory and be ready for later use. The importance of that effect in your trial message has gained some recent and somewhat unexpected support thanks to some research on the effects of allowing jurors to talk about the case without waiting for deliberations. Predeliberation jury discussion is an increasingly popular jury innovation said to make trials more comprehensible and engaging for jurors without biasing the result. The research, however, puts that into question. Two researchers

Don’t Let Your Apologies Make You Sorry: The Trial Message Checklist

September 4th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: It must be the season for corporate apologies. Twitter is sorry that it allowed itself to be a home for hate groups for so many years. Facebook is sorry that it was a gateway to companies like Cambridge Analytica and a host for Russian trolls. Wells Fargo is sorry it loaded its customers with unwanted fees and accounts. Uber is sorry it forced sexual assault victims into arbitration. And Starbucks is sorry for the racism of some of its employees. Those apologies are all aimed at the court of public opinion, but the “sorry” crops up

Encourage Your Juror to Think Like a Scientist

August 30th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  In the wake of recent verdicts, the Johnson & Johnson defense team might be seeing its hopes of convincing jurors to follow its scientific advice going up in a cloud of smoke…or perhaps a cloud of potentially carcinogenic talcum powder. Johnson & Johnson has lost a string of suits, most recently in April ($117 million and $26 million) and July ($46 billion), with the common factor being a tendency for jurors to find the plaintiffs’ anecdotes to be more compelling than the defendant’s data. The science supporting the plaintiffs’ cases, now numbering more than 9,000, is still quite controversial. While