The Oil and Gas Juror: Look for Both Familiarity and Contempt

May 7th, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: You’ve heard the expression: “Familiarity breeds contempt.” Maybe there is a relationship between the two, but in the courtroom, and in the practical task of assessing experience and attitudes during voir dire, they are two different things. First, there is the question of how much knowledge and experience jurors will have with something — lawsuits, large companies, products, etcetera. And second, there is the valence they put on it: the attitudes and opinions that are attached to those experiences. In all areas, these two factors are best measured independently, but with an eye toward how they

Knowing When to Eat Crow: Apologies in Litigation

May 5th, 2018|The Advantage Blog - Tsongas Litigation Consulting|

Bad facts exist in every case. Particularly in this day and age when everything electronic has a footprint, a cringe-worthy document is bound to pop up. A client attorney of ours once referred to email as “the cockroaches of litigation” – they’re lurking in every case. So if you can’t avoid bad facts, what do you do about them? Use them to your advantage. Sometimes falling on your sword will go a long way to gain credibility with the jurors. There is certainly a fine line to walk when it comes to apologizing in a legal setting. Apologies can backfire

Consider the Complacent: Belief in a Favorable Future (BFF) Isn’t Always Your Friend

May 3rd, 2018|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: What a potential juror thinks is, of course, critical to the decision to keep or to strike. But that notion of “what she thinks” means, not just her opinions, but also the broader attitudes and dispositions that lie beneath the surface. That’s why the gold standard in voir dire is to get beyond the opinions that vary from one topic to the next, and to understand the deeper orientations that determine what those attitudes and opinions will be. One such orientation is called “belief in a favorable future,” or to co-opt a popular acronym, “BFF.” It is the

Help the Jury Succeed

May 3rd, 2018|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

I subscribe to an email publication called the Jur-E Bulletin; it is published by the National Center for State Courts. It is a very informative publication and I recommend subscribing to it as you never know what tidbits will be there to be learned. Like a few other posts in our blog, this one was inspired by a story reported in the Jur-E Bulletin. Earlier this year, there was an article entitled “Helping Juries Succeed” which was originally published in the New Jersey Law Journal – it was written by attorney Jeffrey M. Pollock. The entire focus of the article

Who exactly is “the liberal media”? A patent  attorney tackles the question (thoroughly)

May 3rd, 2018|The Jury Room (Keene Trial Consulting)|

We hear so much about “the liberal media” these days that this infographic made us stop and review carefully. It was interesting to see that some of the sites we had casually mentally categorized as either liberal or conservative were truly neither and instead gave a “balanced” view of the news (according to the patent attorney who ranked them).  First, let’s start with that attorney. “Vanessa” is a practicing patent attorney in Denver, Colorado (read about her here). Vanessa writes the blog All Generalizations Are False. Further, she actually published and then modified her Media Bias Chart (see her site

Five characteristic ways people approach facts and information (from  the ‘eager and willing’ to ‘the wary’)

May 1st, 2018|The Jury Room (Keene Trial Consulting)|

The Pew Research Center published an article on their new typology of how people approach facts and information in late 2017 (information on their methodology here). It’s an interesting typology (one of those—“there are 5 kinds of people” theories) and may be useful in assessing how open your jurors will be to new information relevant to your case facts. Or, it might give you ideas about how to frame a narrative so that more people embrace it. As you might expect, people approach new information differently. We’ve all seen this and some of us approach new information in different ways