Take a Second Look at Why Per Diem Damage Requests Work

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

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: As a litigation consultant with an academic background, I am in a unique position: I stay abreast of the social science research (the blog schedule makes sure of that), but I also spend my days working with trial lawyers on the practical needs of cases going to trial. From that vantage point, I’ve observed that practice often proceeds independently of research. In other words, lawyers do what their own experience and hunches tell them to do, regardless of whether the social science supports it or not. One example off that disconnect relates to per diem demands. Where plaintiffs

Bargaining and negotiation

March 6th, 2018|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

Bargaining is a social psychological phenomenon that I observe in every mock jury research project I conduct. Rarely do the mock jurors reach unanimity without considerable back and forth discussions. According to social psychological theory, bargaining involves situations with the following characteristics: (1) the parties involved have divergent interests; (2) some form of communication by the parties is possible; and (3) the parties are able to make concessions. When a group of citizens is formed to comprise a jury of 6, 12, or another size, the 3 conditions listed above converge and ultimately, a verdict is reached. (Of course, when

Connecting With Jurors by Turning Off Your Screen

March 5th, 2018|The Litigation Consulting Report (A2L Consulting)|

I have the privilege of working on a regular basis with many of the top trial lawyers in the nation, and they are an impressive bunch. In addition to their knowledge of the law, their capacity for hard work, and their practiced trial skills, they tend to carry an unquantifiable charisma. The great trial lawyer is a person who, when he or she enters a room, knows how to command the room. And although they are not arrogant, they do know that they have that ability and that they can turn it on or off. This means that the great

Make Your Redirect Something Other Than a Repair Job

March 5th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Her key witness is still on the stand. Direct examination went well, and now the other side’s cross-examination is just wrapping up. Standing up for redirect, the attorney looks at her notes: Coming out of cross, there’s a pretty long list of concessions, misleading answers, or unclear implications, and all of them need to be fixed. So, starting at the top of the list, the attorney begins: “Remember when opposing counsel asked you… well what did you mean when you said… can you clarify the background for that…?” Once the impression is a bit improved, it is on to the

Ask Social-Circle Questions

March 1st, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: Do you think you miss valuable information in voir dire? What about your friends and colleagues who are trial lawyers: Do you think they miss valuable information in voir dire? The first question is self-directed: It is asking about you. But the second question is what they call a “social-circle” question, asking about the attitudes or experiences that you would attribute to those in your social circle. Of course, if you’re asking those kinds of questions to potential jurors, on face, you might think that it is just the first question that matters. After all, who cares what the

Sleeping Beauties

March 1st, 2018|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

The role of a trial juror is critical in American justice and yet, jurors are often criticized collectively by many trial lawyers and the general public. Being a juror is a difficult job; sitting in judgment of your fellow citizens can be very stressful, and trials are not nearly as exciting and fast paced as they seem on TV or in movies. They just aren’t! Never have been, never will be. But, in a world where attention spans are shorter than ever, new challenges emerge. Keeping the jurors “entertained”, and therefore, awake, has never been more important. A December 2017