Instruct the Jury Accurately on Witness Credibility

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

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Given the nature of my involvement in cases, I’m not often present in the courtroom when the jury receives its instructions. But I remember one time that I was. As the judge read out the sections focusing specifically on the credibility of witnesses, I thought, “This is deeply misleading…if not outright wrong.” The advice to the jurors just prior to their deliberations was to consider the completeness of a witness’s recall, with no additional information on the limits and distortions of memory, and to assess truthfulness based on their own careful observations of the witness’s demeanor

Two Reasons ‘Fake News’ Spreads Like Wildfire

March 14th, 2018|CourtroomLogic Consulting|

Fake news. It’s the buzzword of 2018 and sadly, some say, it is quickly becoming a huge threat to journalism and democracy. But what exactly is “fake news” and why does it matter in the world of litigation? Fake news is misinformation that is broadcast, shared or otherwise disseminated to the masses. Typically, we think of fake news as occurring on the internet, but it can (and has) appeared in print media as well. But for now, let’s focus on the internet, specifically, Twitter. The most comprehensive “fake news” study to date was published March 9th in the journal Science.

Should I Allow Jurors to Ask Questions of Witnesses?

March 14th, 2018|Litigation Insights|

On more than one occasion, I’ve been in court when the judge asked counsel if they would like to allow jurors to submit any questions for witnesses following their testimony. In most cases, judges have indicated they would allow juror questions if both parties agreed, yet attorneys are rarely sure if it is a good […] The post Should I Allow Jurors to Ask Questions of Witnesses? appeared first on Litigation Insights.

Use the Features that Make the Fake News Fly

March 12th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm:  There is an old saying attributed to Mark Twain, that “A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is still putting its shoes on.” Based on a recent large-scale MIT study, that turns out to be pretty accurate. The study, released this past week in the journal Science (Vosoughi, roy, & Aral, 2018), examined the spread of more than 126,000 true and false stories shared by more than three million people on Twitter, and assessed their truth based on respected fact-checking organizations. What they found was that false news has a big advantage over the truth:

“Jury Nullification” is a Greater Threat than You Think

March 8th, 2018|The Sound Jury Library (Sound Jury Consulting)|

By Jill D. Schmid, Ph.D. Sound Jury Consulting recently conducted a nationwide online survey in which we asked the following: If you were sitting as juror in a trial where your personal beliefs about the case were in conflict with the laws the judge told you to follow, how difficult do you believe it would be to set your personal beliefs aside and not let them influence your decision? 62% said it would be very or somewhat difficult. While the results highlight the importance of a sound jury de-selection strategy, they also speak to what many might call jury nullification.

The New World Order

March 8th, 2018|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

Melissa and I have attempted do two things consistently with the posts we write. First, we try to be tactful, and not insult anyone. Second, we strive to be timeless, not dating our posts by the topic. This post breaks the 2nd rule, but hopefully, not the first objective. The topic is what some have identified as a change in the global order that began with the campaign and election of our current president, Donald J. Trump. Though U.S. politics have been polarized to some degrees for many election cycles, there is no denying that the current level of polarization