Once More, Into the Mask: Expect a Post-Pandemic Courtroom to be a Ways Off

July 29th, 2021|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: It is as if the public health groundhog emerged from its den, saw its shadow, and now promises six more months of confusion, polarization, and pandemic fatigue. With the more-transmissible Delta variant of the Coronavirus surging across the country, there is concern that we may not be over the hill yet, and may not even be particularly close. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control this past Tuesday issued new guidance recommending a return to masks, even for the vaccinated, for those who are in “an area of substantial or high transmission.” The assumption is that most Americans know whether

Adapting Advocacy for the Post-Pandemic World

July 29th, 2021|Litigation Insights|

Legal advocacy has changed. The pandemic has seen courts and parties adopting technology to depose witnesses, hold hearings and mediations, and conduct trials in all-virtual or “hybrid” environments (such as jury selection by Zoom and trial in person). As a result, the ways attorneys tell case stories have had to adapt to the unique situational factors of a courtroom that exists entirely online, or one that has been drastically modified to fit social-distancing guidelines. If you are an attorney on one of the hundreds of cases pending as courts open in your jurisdiction, you may be breathing a sigh of

Juror Engagement Versus Juror Listening

July 27th, 2021|The Sound Jury Library (Sound Jury Consulting)|

Kathy was dead set on sticking it to our client, the defendant. She knew in her bones that things had happened just the way the plaintiff had described, and it made her angry. It was only a few years earlier that Kathy had experienced a similar situation in her workplace where she was passed over for a promotion. It marked the beginning of a year-long unraveling of her life and Kathy blamed it all on her employer. As she listened to the plaintiff’s story, Kathy could see it perfectly in her head, as if she was personally experiencing it all

Effort Justification

July 27th, 2021|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

Social psychology is amazing (at least, in my opinion!) in its ability to explain things that would otherwise be hard to understand. Take the topic of effort justification as one example. Cognitive dissonance theory postulates that people do not like to have two attitudes or beliefs that conflict with one another. Cognitive dissonance leads to an internal tension. For example, if I pay a lot of money to see Paul McCartney in concert, then upon attending the concert, found out he could no longer sing, I would have cognitive dissonance. (Note to the reader: This would be impossible! Paul

Expect Jurors to Project Themselves into the Situation

July 26th, 2021|Persuasive Litigator (Persuasion Strategies)|

By Dr. Ken Broda-Bahm: A ‘Golden Rule’ argument is one that encourages jurors to put themselves in a party’s shoes and think about what they would or wouldn’t have done. It leads to an objection because it encourages the juror to embrace a personal conclusion that isn’t necessarily drawn from the facts. The Golden Rule objection, however, is a limit on the attorney’s messages, not a limit on what jurors can do. And jurors will do it. When they encounter a new story in the courtroom, they’re armed not just with an understanding of what they hear in court, they’re also armed with

Is your consultant a criminal?

July 22nd, 2021|2's Company - Magnus Insights|

This is a strange topic: Is your consultant a criminal? In this context, it is related to your trial consultant. When one hires a new employee, most often, a variety of background checks are conducted. A lawyer’s criminal history is policed by Bar associations; similarly, other licensed professions are vetted. But, what about professions not requiring a license, like trial consulting? The only trial consulting organization, the American Society of Trial Consultants does not vet members in any way, including for criminal history. So, does your consultant have a criminal record? How do you know? Does it matter? I