A Behind-the-Scenes Look at the Strategy and Psychology of Jury Selection

February 25th, 2021|

This post contains quotations1 from an interview with LI’s Director of Jury Research, Dr. Christina Marinakis, by professional poker player Zachary Elwood, on his podcast entitled, “People Who Read People.” Listen to the full episode on YouTube, iTunes, Spotify, or iHeartRadio. On the Game Theory of Voir Dire The best jury consultants and attorneys who participate in voir dire are able to anticipate the next side’s move and what the consequences of that move will be. So when I’m trying to decide who we want on the panel, the only way we can do that is through the striking process.

How to Tell Your Company Story (so Plaintiffs Don’t Do It for You)

February 18th, 2021|

“I came in here with pictures of stop signs. I came in here with pictures of rampant corporate neglect. We have a duty here as a jury. We are holding corporations accountable. This is one of the things they are responsible for, but our duty as a citizen – my duty as a juror – is to bring justice. Justice for all wrongdoing by this corporation since its inception over a hundred years ago.” Words like these, from the mouth of a mock juror determined from the start of deliberations to stand by a pro-plaintiff verdict, are not unique. They

20 Lessons Learned from Trials in the COVID Era – Part 2

February 4th, 2021|

COVID-19 has shifted much of the litigation process into unfamiliar virtual territory. Luckily, we’ve assisted with quite a few trials during this period, and have emerged with some valuable experiences and lessons. In Part 1, we covered our top tips for conducting effective voir dire/jury selection in a virtual or semi-virtual setting. Now, we move on to remote witnesses (i.e., streamed via videoconference software like Zoom), as well as general presentation technology tips: COVID Remote Witness Tips Your Zoom witnesses should create a “set” in the room they’ll testify from. Similar to our recommendation for attorneys, your witnesses will come

20 Lessons Learned from Trials in the COVID Era – Part 1

January 28th, 2021|

Having assisted with nearly a dozen jury trials during the COVID-19 pandemic, both in person and by Zoom, we’ve learned a lot along the way. While courts and litigators are adapting admirably to social-distancing protocols and the increased (or total) use of video-conference platforms like Zoom, it’s still a novel experience for many. So, for those preparing to return to trial in the coming months, we wanted to offer our top tips based on what we’ve personally encountered in these COVID-era trials. In Part 1, we begin with 10 ways to help you handle voir dire/jury selection during COVID:

Our Top 10 Blogs of 2020

January 20th, 2021|

2020 may thankfully be in the rear view, but be sure not to miss our most popular and talked-about blogs of this past year. Some are older entries that continue to prove invaluable to litigators; others reflect just how much 2020 has changed the legal landscape. Either way, we believe they offer crucial insights for your future courtroom – or virtual courtroom – endeavors. Top 10 Blogs of 2020 How to Conduct Your Deposition by Video Conference Video conferencing isn’t perfect, but at least for now, it may be a mandatory element of your trial. And for testimony as important

Jury Pool Composition Post COVID-19

December 29th, 2020|

It has been nearly a year since that initial phase of lockdowns in the United States. And with a backlog of trials that only swells as time passes, many jurisdictions are desperate for measures that would allow jury trials to proceed. Some jurisdictions have begun conducting jury trials via electronic means, using videoconferencing software like Zoom. But this is not feasible in all areas and has the potential to exclude certain demographics, including older jurors and those of lower socio-economic classes, who may be unfamiliar with or unable to afford the technology required to participate in a virtual trial. Other

Preparing Witnesses for the COVID Courtroom

December 16th, 2020|

Trials have resumed in courts around the country, ushering in an unprecedented era of changes in trial practice and in the physical setting of the courtroom to account for COVID-19. These changes are designed to help maintain a safe environment, but as we know, they have required litigants and court staff to adapt and adjust to a new normal. But witnesses, too, are stepping into the courtroom facing new unknowns. Safety measures such as the use of distance among all of the parties and the jurors in the courtroom, physical barriers such as plastic or glass dividers, and masks and

What Pandemic Misinformation Teaches Us About Improving Our Own Case Stories

November 10th, 2020|

At this point, one could make a strong argument that misinformation about the novel coronavirus has proliferated even beyond the virus itself. Unproven treatments, conspiracy theories, and the politicization of protective measures are but a few examples. Which probably shouldn’t surprise us. Misinformation is its own modern-day plague. Back in 2018 (those sweet, simple times), it was Dictionary.com’s “Word of the Year,” a reflection of its impact on our cultural climate. But when it comes to the current deadly pandemic, about which it is so imperative we are all on the same page, the prevalence of misinformation hits that much harder.

How to Improve Negotiations, Part 3: Communication Factors & Barriers

October 29th, 2020|

Communication in negotiations is complicated. Even when we think we’re making explicit offers and demands, we often send unintended messages that can hurt our bargaining position – whether regarding the flexibility of our offer, our motives, or our honesty. The opposing party can infer such messages based on our offers or concessions, what we say, and how we say it. Previously in this blog series, we covered tips for negotiation planning and strategy, followed by a discussion of three key psychological biases you can leverage. Now, we turn to the subtle communication strategies that can influence the direction of your

How to Improve Negotiations, Part 2: Psychological Tools

October 22nd, 2020|

The human brain is extraordinary, but it is limited in how much information it can process. Our minds simply cannot handle the effort necessary to take in everything we see, hear, or read. Because of this, we’re often influenced by cognitive biases when processing information and making decisions – even crucial ones; although research has shown that the brain will put forth great effort in especially important situations, cognitive biases will still likely play some part. So as we continue with our discussion of ways to improve our negotiation outcomes, it is worth examining how psychological biases can both hinder