The White-Collar Defense Juror and the “Trump Effect”: An Empirical Analysis

December 8th, 2022|DOAR|

For the last six years, litigators have pondered the question: Have jurors changed in the wake of the Trump era? Our nation underwent cataclysmic shifts in values and ideologies after Trump’s election in 2016 and became polarized on key social and political issues in unprecedented ways. As issues of racial, gender, and economic inequality rose to the forefront of our national consciousness, many wondered how these would affect the judgments that diverse groups of jurors make about white-collar defendants who are typically (though not always) White, male and wealthy. Do the assumptions about favorable defense jurors often held by white-collar defense lawyers continue

How do jurors treat contracts formed as a result of fraud? | Online Jury Research Update

December 8th, 2022|ComCon (Kathy Kellermann Communication Consulting)|

People are "contract formalists" (a) putting excessive weight on contracts' written terms (as compared to oral agreements), (b) believing that contracts are formed primarily through formalities such as signature and payment (even though contract law does not require such formalities), and (c) believing that a signed agreement obligates parties to abide by its terms (even when the agreement's terms go unread, the contract is unreasonably lengthy, or the terms are one-sided or unfair) (Wilkinson-Ryan, 2014; Wilkinson-Ryan and Hoffman, 2015). Said differently, people hold signees to a written contract's terms, even when the terms are buried in the fine print of

If It’s a Lie, Call It Out

December 8th, 2022|Your Trial Message|

By Dr. Ken Broda Bahm: If your opposing counsel has a flair for the dramatic, then at some point in the deposition or cross-examination, you might get to a question like, “So, if my witness says that didn’t happen, then you’d say she is lying, right?” What the lawyer is hoping for in asking a question like that is that you’ll back-track, or hesitate, or in some other way try to evade the accusation. Playing on our instinct for civility in the formal setting of testimony, the lawyer is trying for a cheap way to soften or introduce doubt about

Social Psych = Groups = Juries

December 6th, 2022|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

Over the years, many people have asked me what makes me qualified to work as a jury/trial consultant. I explain that I have a Ph.D. in social psychology, which is the scientific study of how people’s thoughts, feelings, and behaviors are influenced by other people and situations. Social thinking, social influence, and social behavior are studied by my colleagues and me, with the goal of understanding the ways in which individual and group behavior is influenced by others’ presence and behavior. In consideration of the fact that a jury is comprised of individual jurors, who must work together to

Sequence Your Trial Story: Five Non-Linear Arcs that Change the Emphasis

December 5th, 2022|Your Trial Message|

By Dr. Ken Broda Bahm: The mantra when persuading juries, judges, and really anyone is often “Keep it simple.” That is for a good reason, and often the simplest way to tell a story is to begin at the beginning and end at the end, working your way straight through the events in sequence. At the same time, the popular dramas and storytelling that surrounds us in novels, movies, and television are replete with examples of alternate ways to tell a story to bring emphasis to a particular part. Shows like Lost or Breaking Bad as well as novels like Slaughterhouse 5 or It will play with the timeline as

Does attorney incivility lose jury trials? | Online Jury Research Update

December 2nd, 2022|ComCon (Kathy Kellermann Communication Consulting)|

Incivility in the courtroom is a widespread phenomenon that has myriad causes and takes myriad forms. Attorney rudeness, hostility, intimidation, personal attacks, unnecessary combativeness, poor manners and overzealous advocacy are examples of "Rambo Litigation" that violates norms of both courtroom decorum and mutual respect, and yet frequently occurs. Incivility increases judges' stress (Miller et al., 2021) and causes negative emotions in observers (e.g., anxiety, anger, disgust, fear) (see, for review, Edwards, 2022). Are jurors similarly affected by attorney incivility and, if so, does attorney incivility influence jurors' verdicts? Edwards (2022) examined how attorney incivility in the courtroom affected jurors' emotions,